Once Upon a Time
To often we wait until life steps in and takes away those who have been an important part of our lives. We all believe there will be time to let them know how much we loved those who, for whatever reason, became our friends.
Time isn't on anyone's side.
Time isn't on anyone's side.
Once upon a time I had a dream of being an professional artist...Nothing else really mattered to me as I was obsessive about learning how to draw and paint. Life isn't a vacuum and other matters found their way into my life. Puberty always has a way of making even the most dedicated artist to add the idea of having friends, sometimes lovers, and it's there where we discover that real life is more than just sitting at a drafting table, it's about talking and laughing and sharing and loving. Relationships send us in all kinds of different directions and with me I kind of found myself becoming a friend with a guy in my senior year. He was being attacked by a bunch of others and I stepped in and stopped them (By this time I'd kind of gained a reputation for violence. I once tossed a coach down some stairs, but that was another story).
Turned out they were picking on him because he was gay and I didn't understand why...It wasn't like he was trying to make them gay. We became close and toward the end of 71 we went to San Francisco where I discovered a whole lot of things about myself that I hadn't consciously realized. I returned to CG and decided to go to college. It was there where I ran into some people who called themselves Satanists and I hung around with them for a while and it was fun...For a while. It became dangerous and there was a death and the people I've posted above know the whole story so they can tell you after I'm gone. I met a woman and we ended up getting married because she became pregnant. First we went to see about an abortion, made the appointment for a clinic in California and made the trip...I don't know why but I suggested we get married instead and we did.
It didn't end well. I tried to be the person she wanted and applied to an invitation only Bible School...I honestly didn't think they'd take me, but they did. The adventures there are for another time, as are the actions that happened when I returned. The main problem with this was the Satanists no longer trusted me and the 'Christians' were wary as well. I was a man without a belief.
One day I was in Casa Grande's only bookstore and in the process of ordering a copy of the 'Necronomicon' and this voice behind me said 'Order one for me as well.' I turned and there stood this incredibly beautiful man and equally beautiful woman, both dressed in black, a Pentagram for a belt buckle and a smile on his face that hinted at much more. His name is Devon and we became friends. I remember pretty much every thing about those initial days, his home, the smell of incense and the most important aspect was he trusted me. He didn't judge my past, we were brothers from the beginning and we will be brothers until the end. I lost track of him for a while but when the Internet was born I started my search and found him again and my life is the better for having him in it.
The there is Tony. I was a junior in high school, my sister was in junior high, and one day she sold him some of my comics and he followed her home and we became friends at once. Tony was, and still is, one of the most incredible natural artists I've ever met. He can draw virtually anything without references and I admired and was incredibly jealous at the same time. We both made our dreams come true and became professional artists...There was a gap but we finally reconnected and I will always see him as my little brother and would do anything in my power for him.
B. is a woman who walked into the Waldenbooks at Park Central where I was working and I don't know why but I looked up and saw the jewelry she was wearing and almost shouted 'The Alpha Center', a metaphysical book and supply store for those who practice Magick. She must have come into the store many times before but it was that night I noticed and I fell in love with her. She taught me so many things about life, about trust, and if I'd had a working brain I would have given up everything I had at that time and dedicated myself to her. I will always regret that mistake but I will never stop loving her.
And now we come to my sister, Elizabeth. She is the strongest woman I've ever known. She doesn't mix words with me, or anyone for that matter, and she has stood up for me on more occasions than I will ever be able to remember. She's my sister and she's my hero and she deserves much more than this world has given her.
I've known Debbie since the early 70s. She married my friend, Michael, and we've always kept in touch through the years. When I was suffering through Bible School with little money and a (Hot) car my uncle sold me, she and Michael would send money to help us out. Michael was a man who was a genius and having a conversation with him was an experience, and Debbie, his equal in all ways, would sometimes translate or we'd just sit and talk. I had long hair and I'll always remember her braiding it and taking me to a softball game once or just dropping by to talk...She is an incredible person with a smile worth dying for. She's my friend and I carry the photos of her daughters (All grown up now) in my wallet. One other memory that I have to talk about...She took me to a showing of Monet's art and it was there where I realized that life was like a Monet painting...It's only understood from a distance.
Once upon a time I would have waited too late to tell these people just how much they mean to me, how much I love them, how much I appreciate the fact that they love me as I am, warts and all. This world is much better with them in it...I love them in ways I never believed possible and my life has been worth living because they are in it. Death doesn't frighten me, I don't believe in a Heaven or Hell, but I do believe in the basic law of science: Energy is neither created or destroyed, it simply changes. If I have a consciousness in the next life my greatest wish is to have the memory of these remarkable individual.
I love each and every one of these people and I want them to know before life plays it's trump card and it's too late.
Karen Rasey was my best friend for years. We lived together until illness sent us both in different directions. She moved to Chicago and my sister built an addition to her home for me. Karen and I talked every day. We wrote every day. Then one day she called as she was being taken into the hospital, she told me she loved me and I told her the same...Those were the last words we'd ever speak to one another. She inspired me, she challenged me, and she accepted me.
And that is the highest form of love anyone can show.
To all of you...You have my love, my respect and I am deeply humbled that you call me friend.
I will pray there is a later.
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