Tuesday, April 6, 2004

What happens now?

I am wasting time at school. The funeral for the afore-mentioned dead friend is in one hour.

I am worried that I am not dressed mournfully enough. I am not an especially mournful person. I am a person who is addicted to color. I am wearing a hot pink camisole under a black button down. I am going to be wearing purple shoes. Will his family be offended?

A huge cross-section of the people that I know will be at this funeral. It has the semi-nauseating dual purpose of social gathering and peace-making situation. I feel like a shallow asshole for worrying about if I look fat, since I'll be seeing a bazillion people I know from high school. I dread that "you've really let yourself go" look. I never get it, but I still dread it.... Thanks, Unrealistic American Beauty Standards! It never gets old, Itellyouwhat!

At Passover last night, my aunt, Sharon, lit a candle from the Holocaust Museum, and asked us all to send a prayer to loved ones who weren't with us, either in body, or in spirit, and I said a prayer for the dead friend's family, and for my recently deceased cousin's family, too. He has a brother who is 2 years younger than him. How does a family survive grief like that? How can they even face each other? What do they talk about? I have this feeling like they aren't dealing with it especially well. My cousin who lived spent the entire memorial buffet dinner smoking and drinking beer in his undershirt in the parking lot. When I saw him at the service he asked me how I was doing, like it was any old day. Like it was Easter, as opposed to his older brother's funeral.

After the service today, I am sure there will be drinking at a relative's house. I feel weird about drinking to excess to commemorate the death of someone who died from doing drugs to excess. Call me old-fashioned. Seems icky.

Oh well. Time to get tarted up and catch the bus to the funeral. Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 3, 2004


This month has been so fuckin' lame. What's up with everything being bad at the same time? There should be rules about how many things are allowed to explode all over you at one time. "Oh..school is shitty and you're feeling fat and funky? Okay. We'll make sure your friend situation and your physical space are mellow and tidy." Instead, everything falls apart at the same time. I cried 5 times yesterday. I am not opposed to getting my cry on, but c'mon now. That's just excessive. Enough, already.

It seems like things are really tough for a lot of people right now. I haven't talked to anyone who said, "Man, things have been really rad lately." Everyone I have bitched to about my ass-bad life right now has said, "Yeah, actually, me, too." It's nice to know I'm not alone, though it means people have less patience to listen to me bitch and moan, which is a shame. I like to complain from time to time.

A guy I went to middle school and high school with just died of an accidental drug overdose. Some mixing of the pills..morphine, valium, whatev'. Another guy I know from way back, though less intimately, found his dead body. How fucking traumatic. I'm mad at the dead guy. What a stupid way to die. How selfish, to be so consumed with your pursuit for pleasure or escape that you die, leaving your loved ones to deal with your carelessness. Whatever, I know I'm being totally insensitive and simplistic about it, and happy people do experiment with drugs to excess. As Zoe said yesterday, fine, I'll wear the Bitch Crown for now.

This death comes so close to my cousin's embarrassing, foolish accidental death, as well. I am still pissed at him, too. Drunk driving, at night, on a non-street-equipped dirtbike, no helmet, after a major rain storm, at 3 in the morning. It would have been a bonafide miracle if he HADN'T died.

They didn't even mention the way he died at the funeral, either. No one mentioned drunk driving once. I wanted to get up, go to the lectern in front of the church full of young people (mostly under 30) and mention the unmentionable...this could be you. This could've been anyone; could've been any one of hundreds of people that we all know and love. But this time it was my cousin. Is that risk really worth it? Yeah, so you might get to sleep in your bed, rather than on someone's floor or couch. Yeah, your toothbrush is at your house. So what? What if you die, instead of making it home? What if you're the one that everyone gathers for in the church, talking in hushed tones, smoking dejectedly outside in a worried crowd afterwards? (Technically, it couldn't be me, because I don't know how to drive, so I am not subject to this rant. Think of Jesus's words, about letting him who is without sin cast the first stone...I am without this specific sin, so I'll chuck away.)

My friend has had to nurse another old friend for the last 24 hours, helping him deal with his grief over the death of the afore-mentioned dead guy. My friend hasn't even been able to cry yet, because she's been so consumed with this other friend's emotions about the death.

I kicked that dead guy in the nuts in 8th grade. We went to the Marin County Fair together. I bought ecstacy from him multiple times, when he was a mini drug lord and I was doing those sorts of drugs.

He got his teeth done recently. He always had charmingly crooked teeth, but when he started making money selling real estate he decided to get them done. They were straight and perfect and the brightest possible human white. It looked like those teeth that Jim Carrey wore in The Mask. I gave him a hug and and admired his new grill. He got embarrassed and said he'd just gotten them bleached. I thought it was silly that he lied. Why bother? I am a small B cup, so I'd never be able to pull off a boob job without it being really obvious. The dead guy's teeth were the same way. They were noticeably crooked before, but not at all unpleasantly. I just thought it was so silly that he lied about it.

He was deaf and wore a hearing aid. He had a laugh that everyone loved to imitate. It sounded like a bird call. He went through the phase in the end of middle school and early high school where he said "Haiku" in the place of "Hi" or "what's up." "Haiku, Dude. Haiku." And he'd hold his hand up, to give you a high five. He was the sort of guy who always had the newest, craziest fancy cell phone. The unfortunate, prevalent bad taste of middle school notwithstanding, he was always nicely dressed.. Really funny. Life of the party. He dealt drugs for years and years.

We were not close friends these days. We hadn't been in a really, really long time. But I feel really sad about it, about his death. Sadder than I did about my cousin. I don't see my cousins all that often. They're in Martinez, I'm in Marin. We might as well be separated by an ocean and a continent. So, having the close acquaintance die seems more serious, because he was reliable and always around. My cousin has been almost a stranger to me for years, as has this other guy. Maybe that's why I feel so sad about them. I didn't know them, but I could have. I missed my chance to know them.

Andrew Lau, Shane Gehrau. Both of you would have preferred beers to tears, but I don't have any 40oz to tip to you, so the tears will have to do. I'm sorry I missed you both..