November 20, 2014 Leave a comment
Today is the day I was supposed to see you again. You were landing in Nashville from London and I was arriving two hours later. You were going to meet me at the airport and then we’d go to your house and spend the next three days together alone, til Sunday when my grandmother was scheduled to arrive. Then we 3 kings would have a week to enjoy each other, cook, spruce up your place, hang out with your friends, get stoned, take walks and talk incessantly like we always did. Today is fucking hard. I woke up with an anvil in my chest. I threw on some reggae and was uplifted in a way I didn’t expect. I sang, I danced and moved with a lightness I thought I wouldn’t taste for years. I haven’t been listening to much music because everything reminds of you. Everygoddamnsong. I listened to Childish Gambino with no problem because you hated him. And I can hear your disapproving voice saying “that shit is a flash in the indie pan” and I’m delighted by your words. I had a burst of joy, or what this new shade of joy is in a world without my best friend. It’s nothing like the joy I knew before that Tuesday morning, obviously. It’s a puff of smoke from a coughing dragon with a little less death on its breath. But, it’s going to have to do if I’m going to get to the other side of this. Whatever the fuck that means.
The last time I saw you was really great. Every time I saw you was huge. We’d spend all our in between time on the phone and then collide into each other with decadent intensity. 8/22/14 I had just landed from 6weeks in Nicaragua that Friday morning. That evening, my sister and I got all dolled up and drove to the Bill Graham Civic Center to meet you before the show. You were so beautiful. You were so soft and gentle natured with me. In the last two years, you had been working so hard to soften up in general. The alchemy I noticed in you was magical. You noticed my own alchemy as I had been growing up too. We talked backstage about the thing you always talked to me about. You asked me “Have you finished that children’s book yet?” My sister left us alone because you started in on me about finishing it faster. I loved every minute of it because you cared so deeply, and tried to kiss you into silence because I simultaneously didn’t want to be lectured…again.
I massaged your hands, the ways I always did before any show you were playing in my presence. I swear nothing made me happier than massaging your hands before a show. Every touch was intentional, purposeful, charged, full of love and admiration and devotion to the force you are, the man who makes me proud, the friend I trust with all my parts.
Lalo came in to tell you it’s time. We kissed. “i love you baby, go get em” “i love you too, woman”. And you’re off
Then Jazmine and I stationed ourselves on your side of the stage. Where I’ve stood so many times before. Mars Volta tours, same thing. You were always on the same side of the stage and I’d stand right there, only feet away and watch you do what you loved. In absolute love with your magic. And your strength. And your sensitivities. And your insecurities. And your might. And your power.
I stood right there in that same spot, at that same venue. 12/31/07 for the new years eve mars volta show. the show stopped for the countdown and when the new year came in, balloons and confetti came cascading from the ceiling. you got up from your keyboard, walked to where i was standing and kissed me so sweetly. I was entirely aglow. we were staying at the phoenix hotel and on the walk back to the room, we marched side by side hand in hand like beasts. Proud to be exactly what and where we were. You always said “we are 900 lb gorillas. the others stop and notice”.
That August night, I stood there and remembered all the times I’ve watched you play and I held my hand over my heart for almost the whole show. Under the blue lighting, You looked at me intentionally at one point and noticed my hand over my heart. You smiled at me. I smiled back. And gave you a little nod. It didn’t feel like a silly lover’s googly eyed moment. It was a knowing, an understanding, an accepting, an acknowledgement of all of our everything and an appreciation for all that means, a gratitude to still be right there, in each other’s line of sight and at the core of each other’s love lineage.