Saturday, December 26, 2015

Since You Died on Friday

I indicated that last week's essay would likely be the last one of the year. Often writing here is a duty for me but at least I feel the accomplishment of having done a little something other than sit on the couch and watch tv. It's been a while since  there's been an event so overwhelming that I need to use my words. On Friday December 18, my friend of over forty years, Richard Scott, died suddenly.

For Richard
January 30, 1947-December 18, 2015

Since you died on Friday
I no longer have an emergency contact.
I held my son in my arms and we wept.
I realize that except for my own, 661-7506 is the only phone number that I know by heart.
I worry that my Hanukah menu of latkes and doughnuts may have induced your heart attack.
I'm sorry that you didn't hear the police woman say that yours was the tidiest house she'd ever seen.
I remember how we got high and watched sitcom reruns and Date With Dale on Christian broadcasting and that we sent Dale Evans a letter suggesting that she invest in a more supportive bra.
I make my husband a sardine sandwich with your pumpernickel bread.
I realize I will never earn another dollar for being the first to notify you about a celebrity death.
I see that in your phonebook you've written every friend's birthday in red ink.
I regret that I was snippy and preoccupied the last time I saw you.
I am thankful that our penultimate time together was wonderful and even though the latkes may have done you in it was a perfect evening.
I remember my kids seeing your yellow VW bug in the handicapped spot at Video Journeys and dashing into the porn room to find you.
Every person I call to tell that you died said that you were their best friend.

Since you died on Friday
Your favorite movie lines resonate in my head.
Get me the axe.
We're in a tent darling, we're not at home. I can hear you perfectly well if you speak in a normal tone of voice.
Top of the world Ma!

Since you died on Friday,
I've been eating, as you would say, like I'm going to the chair.
I had to stop myself from calling you to tell you, that despite an amazing cast, Truth is a terrible, awful film.
I take everything from your freezer and heat it on a big cookie sheet and we eat it for dinner.
I am thankful that in 2015 you did everything that you like to do.
I am acutely aware of the better person I've become for having known you.
I regret that we put off traveling to London together.
I'll have to figure out how to keep track of my own bills and appointments.
I see how my friendship with you has been a blueprint for every other satisfying relationship I have.
I remember Bob noting that no one made me laugh as hard as you did.
I note that the your most recent “Last Gasp List” of elderly or infirm celebrities is the last one I'll receive.
I threw away your razor, a bar of soap and a pack of honeybuns from the 99 Cent Store
I drink, as I write this, coffee with milk from your refrigerator.
I am befuddled that I was unable to find your pot.
I remember the Oscar birthday cake that I made you.
I eat another breakfast from the green depression glass plate that you gave me.
I discover that I am not the only one who couldn't stand the corn pudding you insisted on making for Thanksgiving.
I remember how much more patient you were with my dementia addled mother than I was myself.

I am reminded too that I will die and that for you it was fast and you were sitting in your favorite chair with a glass of iced tea and the tv on.

Since you died on Friday tears flow a couple times each day but I know you are immortal because I will think about you every day and that I am better for having loved you and that I am not the only one.


Dave said...

I am very sorry for your loss, dear Layne.

Rosemary said...

I am so saddened and stunned to read about this incredible loss, Layne! I am so, so sorry. I know you loved him very much. He sounds like he was surrounded by great friendships he cultivated and tended like a garden. Blessings to your good friend.

John L. Murphy / "FionnchĂș" said...

P.S. I recall him chortling about the "feedbag" of a purse you always seem to hoist, in that "Mister Ed" me

Kim Jones said...

This is a beautiful tribute, and I like to think there is something beyond this mortal coil just so Richard can read what you wrote. I think he'd like it, a lot.
I'm so sorry that you lost your wonderful friend.

Unknown said...