Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I have carried these two cards in my wallet for five years. Today, I'm letting them go. Gonna mail them to myself—from the office to the house. When they arrive at home, I will put them in a memento box. The mailing part is something I made up. Don't ask me what it means. It's just a way to symbolize and formalize the letting go-ness.
I've carried these cards around for the exact reason you might think. They remind me of Scott. And I like to be reminded of him. Five years is a long time. 1,825 days. Almost the entire length of Pablo's life. In all those days, these cards made me happy, sad, angry and, ultimately, proud of the time Scott shared with me in his life. They always remind me of one thing Scott said to me the night before he died. I was sitting at the foot of his bed, my head on the covers. I was tired. Spent. Flattened. He was temperature immune—not in need of a blanket or a sheet, or even a shirt—just laying on his hospital bed, flitting in and out of sleep. As I lay in my study hall sleeping pose, I felt him lift his foot off the mattress. He rubbed the top of my head with his foot in a playful way. I looked up at him. In his almost-gone voice, he said something to me so simple, so hard for me to accept. Such a gift. He said, 'You're a good guy.' I felt so many things in the moments after those four words hit my ears. Seen is one of them. Scott always saw me, and always made me feel seen and heard. He took so much time out of his life to be interested in my life, particularly when I was in my formative years. Scott was seven years older than me, eight years older than Dean, so it's especially powerful that he reached back for us. The age disparity would rule that out in many peoples' lives.
I have tried to live up to Scott's assertion. Hasn't been easy. Sometimes I feel like a complete f*** up. Who doesn't?
Before I pull out the memento box, let me tell you about these cards.
The yellow one is a frequent drinker punch card from Intelligentsia in Chicago. This was years and years before Intelly Silverlake came about. In fact, Scott would have sold his house in Chicago and moved here in an instant if he'd have known this single fact. I swear! He'd be simply stunned at how supportive James Marcotte, Kyle Glanville and the Intelly LA crew have been with The Pablove Foundation. Scott, Dean and I started going to Intelly when there was only one location, on Broadway. Then they opened one in the lobby of the Monadnock Building in the Loop. That building was the first skyscraper. Right in the thick of the streets that Scott loved. The streets lined with buildings whose stories Scott knew by heart. When Scott was in the hospital that last time, he had a unquenchable thirst for Mexican Coke. In Chicago, you can't find that stuff as easily as you can in LA. Intelly had it. At one point, we'd bought both Loop locations out of stock. And he still wanted more!
The blue one is a Chicago Transit Authority card. I did many train rides from Midway and O'Hare airports to Scott's house south of Grant Park and the Loop. One time I got all the way to the Loop and realized I'd forgotten my suit in Midway. Had to jump off the train, drop down the stairs and ascend to the other side of the platform. It was my final and longest trip to Chicago. It was clear to Scott and to all of us that he was near the end of his life. That's why I was carrying a suit. I was frazzled running all the way back to Midway, feeling I was disappointing my brother by adding an extra 90 minutes to my arrival time. Plus, I didn't want to have to deal with buying a new suit if it had been nicked. In the end, all was alright. The damn suit bag was exactly where I'd left it, draped over the back of chair.
I feel better having told you all this. Thank you for listening.
at 5:06:00 PM