24 January, 2013

Goodbye, Emily

My garment bag - Seigel's Fine Clothing - looks like a body bag. My minds eye can see your grinning face asking "can I fit in it?" and trying to zip yourself up. You probably could, you were 90 pounds soaking wet carrying 5lbs of bricks.

Now I lay it with care across my chair, over top my guitar cases, so that if I manage to bring myself to leave the house any time soon I can get my dress jacket and shirts dry cleaned for your memorial.

That will be two weddings, two funerals. I wish I could erase the death by dousing it in gasoline and setting it on fire.

Your size was the only small thing about you.

I'll never forget sneaking out of the dorms for study hours and you being a fixture misfit in the computer lab most nights - all of us forming a ragtag tribe of proto-geeks. What was it you were always typing? I never knew until later the depths and breadth of your wondrous creativity - only that your joy was infectious and your curiosity boundless and that you had a hilarious sense of humor.

Later, I was touched to see how brave you were in the face of all the struggling and suffering you endured in your short life. I am awed at how many lives you did manage to touch, but not surprised.

"She was a real dame, old friend, a real broad." -Leo McGarry.

I will miss you like crazy. Love always.

Emily Sara Salzfass, February 1, 1976 - January 21, 2013.

09 January, 2013


(fictional) Letter to a friend:

You're not in the doghouse, per se.

Well, certainly not with me. But you have made your bed, and there you shall sleep.

It's a thing with you, it's a pattern.

I mean, you tell me - you say, "oh I can't date an alcoholic," so it never quite worked out with Mischa. But then you turn around and poach Jake from Lauren. Drunk Jake, that's his nickname for fucks sake. Don't tell me they were broken up - it's more complicated than that. That's cover, you're justifying it to yourself. Its a lie you tell yourself and you believe it so well you actually had the gumption to get indignant TO ME when I suggested that maybe he didn't tell you exactly the truth about that.

You talk about love, true love, sweep you off your feet romance, as if you have any idea what it means, or would recognize it if it lived with you for three years in Chelsea. Yeah, I went there.

Remember when you left Ron for Patterson, and I was like, what the fuck? Did that wedding and all that mean more to me? I mean, were you really done, you and Ron, or are you the cheater you so revile? And a military man? You picked a state-sponsored killer over the sweet, sensitive artist/scientist. Did being treated well bore you?

I mean, here's a guy who goes all over the world and confirms every stereo type of the gun-toting foreign service thug that so many have about American "State Department" black-helicopter types right down to the dozens of bastard children and proclivity for whores. You are lucky the worst you got from that was a case of the clap.

You're damn lucky he didn't get tired of your ass and leave your corpse in some jungle, frankly. And even then you had again the audacity to get mad a ME when I told you I thought this guy was all wrong, all wrong for you.

So, no, that doesn't make me eager to shift around my social obligations, which are hard enough -- you know how I am and the difficulties I have -- so that I can slot you in without exposing you to the dozen or so people who you've pissed off with your current relationship status.

As for Mischa. I get it, he's a drunk too. But he's honest, and he cares, and he probably would have treated you like a queen. You remember we talked about his girl trouble, the issue with Valerie getting too close. You couldn't grasp it: how dare a boy reject the advances of a women, and at the same time bed her? But that's the deal they had, and it was straight-forward: no twists or turns or intrigue about it. She chose to break the rules and he had to distance himself - for both their good.

He's an honest broker, he's not going to lie and tell you what you want to hear, but you always choose what you want to hear over what you need to hear. Don't you?

You have so much tunnel vision that you can't see what's going on around you. I don't want you to be hurt by Drunk Jake but he has a pattern just like every one else and you'll get caught in it and spit out of it and then come to cry on my shoulder about it (and it's there, promise, but not without a long talk and a long hard look at why this keeps happening).

Maybe I'm wrong, you've found true love and will be happy forever. I'd love that.

Let's get lunch soon.