Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tragically Delicious

Lots to cover today. Allow me to get right to it.

Kirby Krackle. Kyle Stevens and Jim Demonakos just returned from a promotional visit to NYC, where the album was very well received. And Kyle now has the footage I shot of his CD release set up on YouTube. Check it out.

Next up, Sam's birthday was yesterday. It also happened to be a pretty busy one, work-wise. I took a break in the mid-morning and opened up a music file. It's the recording of Fire Inside on which Sam's vocals mysteriously appeared when I was archiving our old music back in 2005, only without the acoustic guitar track and some different drums added. This way, I can play along live, and have a little birthday duet. And you know, it felt pretty good. My mood really improved for about half an hour.

Until I found out that an old and dear friend has cancer.
The same kind Samantha had.
He's having surgery on the 17th. They're gonna crack him and do a lobectomy on his lung, just like they did with my dad and Raechelle's mom.


So that kind of licked me back into that fog. The blank gaze of the shellshocked soldier when confronted with a trigger that makes him remember his own past traumas. And as badly as you feel for yourself, it's totally not about you. It's about your friend/partner/spouse/child/parent with the actual disease, facing the actual surgery. So you just have to be stoic and march on.

With that in mind, after errand-running and kids' counseling and all that goes with that, Raechelle and the kids and I went to dinner at Pegasus. The kids were full of energy and conversation, and neither of us got a word in edgewise. Then we came home and sang Happy Birthday to Sam. The kids blew out the wax 42 on the cake I'd purchased from Safeway while Kayleigh was in her counseling appointment.

Which brings me to the title portion of the story.

I've blogged previously about hairdressers, baristas and other service professionals who insist on striking up conversation with the widowed, having no clue what they're gonna find when you do respond. On this occasion, it was a Starbucks barista at the kiosk/cart/thingy inside Safeway. I had a giant iced tea on order, and I had the chocloate cake that read Happy Birthday Sam on it, and a wax 2 candle, since we already had a 4 at home. Easy enough to mistake that for a young boy's cake, for sure. But once again, it was a case of prying too far. And it went something like this:

Awww, someone's having a birthday.

Sort of.

Are they two?

No. We already have the 4.



I was just going for the more desirable option.


So who is 42?

My late wife. She would have been 42 today. My kids celebrate it.

Sound of a record-player needle scratching, followed by crickets.

(shocked pause & look of sympathy)
Awww. I'm so sorry to hear that. You have a nice day.


I would have liked to say something totally mean and snarky as all hell (which I will not repeat here), and that's why I'm glad my internal monologue filter is firmly in place when I'm out in public. I was also going to spout some battlefield wisdom about how grief is contagious and sometimes becomes more about the bystander's experience than the person actually affected, but you've heard all that from me before.

So let me just finish this up.

Happy birthday, Sam.
Kick it in the ass, Dave.
Good work, Kyle.

Peace out.

1 comment:

beach said...

Hey man, Actually I'm going to punch it in the jeans! Fuck cancer!