Sunday, May 09, 2004

I'm pulling through...

Happy Mother's Day.

The last 48 hours have been a life-changing experience for me. From Friday night at Europa to Saturday's Laurel Main Street Fest to Shirley Horn's breathtaking Library of Congress performance, this weekend was nothing but emotional. Then this morning, the most shocking of all - one of my best friends, Adam, passed away.

I've been debating whether I should post this, but my feelings need to be known. I'm in no position to say I've learned something valuable from this - because I'm just living through it. What hit me hardest is the close proximity of all this - how closely it has affected me. Shock is an understatement. I regret I had not been a better friend as I should have. Ever since Adam moved to Jersey, I had been MIA. We also had a couple of falling out's, and made up afterwards. It makes me feel guilty to have had such feelings toward him, and for what? As Shirley Horn said at the end of her concert after acknowledging having her drummer Steve Williams in her trio for the last 25 years, "I feel like crying." That is precisely what I feel now, and I will remain shocked in the weeks to come.

I dedicate the following poem to my old friend:

Hello old friend
How are you?
I'm pulling through but my pain is trivial compared to your loved ones'
Today is a very sad day
Sad not only because you had left us
but because I haven't justified my guilt and foolish pride toward you
Sorry we had drifted apart
And I regret that I never tried hard to sustain our friendship
and that I had treated you unfairly
I never meant any harm or ill feelings
Please accept my apology

Hello old friend
How are you?
I'm relieved that the last time I saw you
We had a good talk, a talk we hadn't had for a long time
It was very pleasant
and I hope that snapshot will last forever

Hello old friend
How are you?
It's raining in my heart
I know you have not left us
You just went on a long vacation to a place far, far away
In there you enjoy true freedom and space, something you had always desired
I hope someday we'll meet again, talk about old times
and continue our conversations about punk rock and salsa
and pretend no one is paying attention to the absurd topics
You once said David Grohl was the best drummer ever and I said Max Roach
Let's have those ridiculous arguments again

Hello old friend
How are you?
I'm pulling through...
and I hope that the next time I greet you
I'll say "I'm doing fine, and you"

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