Our friend Jon died on Friday the 13th, in May.
I have not been able to make but a whit of sense about it but the amazing Becky (on the left, above) has written poignantly about it. I’m pretty sure I did my own “sink low” interpretation since learning about his death over a week later, only a couple days after Lisa (to Jon’s left, above) herself heard about it. That night I got on the phone with Sheila, the excellent redhead above, and made sure the news was complete.
Though the picture was taken at Leanne and my wedding in 2008, which I think is the last time I saw Jon, the row of us above met in late 1982 on the 8th floor of the dorm called Ida Sproul in Berkeley. We were charmed ever since then. It is a measure of the time and of our unique bravado that over 25 years later so many of us are still fast friends.
Funny. I still say Jon is a friend.
Jon and I used to scream our bikes in the dark of night through the streets of Berkeley and Oakland. Not safe; not by the book — Jon never wearing shoes. Jon was brilliant — but moreso, kind and gentle. Was he fully misfit? Clearly he was addicted, but how did he die? Was he hellbent on destruction in the world, or in a world hellbent on destruction, was he an honest precious being?
I didn’t answer any of this, so I instead thought of a playlist of what we used to listen to. It goes something like this:
1) This Charming Man — the Smiths — (long version)
2) Wild Child — Lou Reed
3) Kometenmelodie — Kraftwerk
4) Some Song by Phillip Glass which I forget but he swears they sing “Call Lisa” in
5) Atrocity Exhibition — Joy Division
6) Lou Reed — Perfect Day
7) Lou Reed — pretty much forever. Lou Reed forever.