Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Super Dave

I have a friend. I call him Dave because this is a blog and that's not his name. I'm not sure if he's still alive -- I haven't seen him in 4-5 years. But I've been thinking about him lately, and I wanted to say something about him, and how I knew him, and his inconsistencies and quirks, and how exasperating he could be.

Over the years, most of my friends told me that upon meeting Dave they assumed he was gay. Since he had volunteered to me that he wasn't gay, and since it didn't make any differene to me, I took his word for it. Looking back, I'm pretty sure Dave probably was gay, but wasn't out even to himself.

Dave's mom died of Alzheimer's about 15 yrs ago. His dad died of emphysema (I think) shortly before that. His uncle died of AIDS. His brother got divorced two or three times, and sat on the couch watching TV a lot.

About 8 or 10 yrs ago, Dave contracted HIV and developed AIDS.

Dave wasn't good-looking or physically attractive, and seemed to encounter his share of challenges socially. Some of my friends called him "Opus" behind his back, because he was a musician ("Beethoven's blah blah, Opus No. 7") and he had a beaky nose and waddled when he walked -- he reminded them of the penguin from Bloom County.

He was a talented musician, but he was opinionated, often self-centered, controlling, and could drone on for hours about the most incredibly boring stuff (His drive from L.A. to Barstow; His 3rd-grade music award; Which pizza is worse, Dominoes or Little Caesars? Etc.) I don't know that he ever had a girlfriend (not sure about a boyfriend).

I don't know what it was exactly, but he had an uncanny ability to make people annoyed with him. I felt bad for him, except that he had a way of making you so frustrated that you stopped feeling sorry for him even if you were his friend.

He taught high school music; one time his students set his car on fire in the parking lot.

He came to our area a few yrs ago; I would have invited him to stay the night with us, but my wife was very particular about who she let stay in the house when the kids were small, so I ended up buying him a hotel room instead. I felt bad (still do), because I knew he might think it was about the HIV (I know some of his friends wouldn't let him near their kids any more when they heard.) I wanted him to know that putting him in a hotel had nothing to do with that, but it's a little hard to say "The HIV thing is cool, but you just creep my wife out too much..."

Anyway, I haven't heard from Dave in a while. The last time I saw him, he didn't look very well -- the drug cocktail they had him on made his face puffy, and he was balding and going gray at the same time. He was 35 yrs old. I wondered when we said goodbye if I'd see him again.

I suspect the answer is no...


At Tue Nov 22, 09:58:00 PM PST, Blogger jay are said...

That's very sad and I like to think he encountered something good along the way and maybe that's why you haven't heard from him: he's basking in the sun on a tropical beach.

At Wed Nov 23, 02:53:00 PM PST, Blogger No_Newz said...

Sad story. It's weird not knowing isn't it?
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Lois Lane


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