A Random Image
 

Jett Superior laid this on you on || May 18, 2004 || 7:59 pm

All hail the Prime Minister of Arty Crap*

Today I got a voicemail from my melly

and immediately knew something was amiss. Upon calling her back, I expected anything

but what she told me when I sat the words, “What’s wrong?” in front of her. It was then I

found out that I lost a friend yesterday, although

melly was kind enough to wait out my workday –knowing I would be on the road for most of

it and not wanting to upset me while I drove– to call me.

Most of you know of ‘waistdog’ from my comments. His real name was Rick; he was a good,

good man, and he was my friend, both online and off. The task of summing up a person with

a handful of words that you apply the term ‘friend’ to is a maddening one. There is never

anything to adequately frame up quite who and what they were to you; not even if you

wrote reams could you do them justice.

If you were to check Rick’s sitemeter count on any given day, his average was about fifty

people. I count myself blessed and fortunate to have been one of those fifty. I count myself

lucky to have had the privilege of calling him friend and hearing the same in return with

regard to me. We passed countless e-mails, a handful of packages and letters, and scattered

phone calls in the two-plus years that we knew one another. He was one of the most pure

people I’d ever met, unblinkingly funny and tongue-in-cheek honest. He was hopeful and

earnest and, in a nutshell, a wonderful person to pass the time with. His writing was, in a

word, brilliant. I expected him –upon first speaking with him over the phone– to sound like a

gruff, scattered ole hippie; instead, he was soft-spoken, laid-back and intelligent cat. We

made one another laugh. Sometimes we comforted one another’s hurts. We looked forward

to the day when we could lift a shotglass to one another somewhere out in the middle of

nowhere and fall over backwards because we’d simply had too very much to drink and

because oh-my-isn’t-the-sky-out-here-pretty-todaaaaay.

I once sent Rick a

Piggly Wiggly shirt on a whim, and because he jokingly asked me to. It was one of the

best inside jokes I’ve ever participated in, and he would delight me and the rest of the fucking

interweb with his adventures in his red pickup truck, trotting around Mount Shasta sporting

the red Piggly Wiggly Polo. He was going to send me a photo of him in that shirt. He was

going to send me a handful of vintage plastic carnival ducks. Sadly, he didn’t get around to doing either of those

things before he died. But I have a picture in my head of him wearing that silly-assed shirt,

and it makes me smile about ten miles wide, even now as my heart aches and I cannot for

the life of me seem to stem the flow of tears.

Fucking human frailty. It’s such a bitch.

So when someone goes, you are stuck with all these things in your head that you DIDN’T do.

Ironically enough, the metal cow came into the picture around this time last year. Rick kept

mentioning this metal cow that was parked out in a field somewhere. That fucking cow

fascinated and amused him. We, his readership, were not hip to the metal cow (or simply

thought he was having another flashback from those wild, wacky sixties), so he

href=”http://www.skittish.org/waistdog/older/001158.html”>posted about it and

provided a picture. I for one –despite all my world-wandering– had never seen metal

representations of livestock (or any four-legged beast, for that matter), and was quite

amused. A scant two or three weeks later (I shit you not), in front of my favorite mexican

restaurant here in the heart of Hellabammy, a large metal elephant appeared next to the

highway. I hooted and hollered and squealed and vowed to take a photo of it, peering

garishly out from behind a couple potted palms, to send to Rick. I just knew he’d

love it and get the biggest kick out of it, especially the sad potted plants that it mock-’hid’

behind.

I just never seemed to get around to taking that picture: It seemed that every time I’d

remember it, I was miles and miles away or I’d forgotten to put my digital camera in the car

when I’d be passing it, something. And now he’s gone and that elephant is still there

and I never got to share it with my favorite kooky Californian, despite the fact that I rode by it

every damn day. Hell, I didn’t even tell my dear waisty about it, because I wanted it to be a

delicious surprise; I wanted to make him giggle unexpectedly some day. And now I get to

pass that elephant every day and it will fill me with a rich stirring of mixed emotions that will

make me want to do something utterly obnoxious like sit atop the metal elephant and get

drunk in Rick’s name before passing out while quietly crying in my tequila.

I’m bothered by the fact that I did not get to respond to Rick’s last e-mail to me the other day,

but I really and truly am comforted by the knowledge that I was the best fucking friend to him

that I could possibly be, and our last handful of e-mails over the past couple of weeks were

full of warmth and affection for one another. We had a kinship based on several things, not

the least of which was the fact that we were two sad sacks living in mountain communities

where neither of us really quite fit in, but were having one fuck of a time thumbing our noses

at the locals.

Simply put, Rick Bedford was the best fish out of water EVER.

Many, many moons ago, I stumbled onto an uglyUglyUGLY yellow website and –as I was no design snob (sporting quite the ugly layout m’self, as well), just seeking smashing content– offered to

send its author a sparkly teal cape. He never took me up on that offer (didn’t even respond to

my comment at that time, as I recall). I meant it at the time, and I’m glad I made the initial

contact, because it brought a really neato kinda guy into my (very abbreviated) sphere of

friends. They come in the strangest of ways, these friend-people, and nestle down in your

heart like there was a place waiting there, predestined for them to fill.

I do want you people to know that you enriched Rick’s life. Scorpy and Pie and Cheyenne

and Laura and Yvonne and Fran and Wendy and Melly and all you others that my muddled brain (due to

my grieving heart) won’t quite dredge up…you made Rick’s life fun; you brought a light to him

on days when he felt somewhat alone and maybe unloved. Bless your hearts.

Lucky us for being blessed by his.

* the title he asked for, and was subsequently bestowed, on my weblog some time ago

“It’s sad.

I think a lot of people are afraid of science.”

// waisty, 25 March 2003

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

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