Sunday, August 15, 2010

Richard Young

The first boy I ever lied to my parents about is dead. That's how old we've become. And my mother has outlived him. That's how strange and fickle death is.

Death has to do with age to some extent, but death is also random and fingers the young before the old sometimes.

This is not to say I wanted my mother to die before my first real boyfriend - only that I would have wanted my first real boyfriend to have outlived my mother, which is different.

In a perfect world, my old boyfriend would still be alive, as would my mother. And whenever she died, he would have died 35 years later.

I am searching my imperfect memory for pictures and thoughts of those long ago days. I remember he had long hair - blonde, unruly and curly, curly, curly, and a ready made smile which lit the world. He was heavy set, but compared to me, Twiggy was heavyset, so that's probably not a true memory. He played bass guitar and sang in several different bands over the years I knew him and I would sit at the edge of the stage and revel in my "she's with the band" groupie-ism. We laid on top of his car back in 1969 and watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. He was tripping and he saw more than I did, but I had chills, anyhow. We went with a bunch of people to his parent's cottage in Michigan (that's where the lie to my parent's came into play) and everyone drank and smoked and partied until most of them threw the hell up. It was fun. It was especially fun because I didn't throw up and it was my very first "vacation" sans parents.

We held hands alot and swore undying love - and then, I forget why, we broke up and moved on. But we remained friends. I got pregnant by someone else and he stuck by my side when a lot of other, less open-minded friends did not. He still dragged me to band dates - I still sat on the edge of the stage, and scandalized the nuns and all the little Catholic girls because of my advanced state of unwed pregnancy. I gave birth and he met a new girl - she, too, became my friend. I believe that she, too, is dead now, although I do not know for sure. We lost touch sometime in the mid-eighties. They were divorcing and she was the victim of a little known genetic disease which had slowly robbed her of her ability to function physically and a demerol addiction which quickly robbed her of her ability to function mentally. The last I heard she was being placed in a nursing home and then silence from everyone.

I did not pursue news of either of them. I had my own angst at the time and it was easier to wait for a phone call which never came.

And then, a few days ago, thanks to Facebook, I thought I had found him. There was a friend of a friend of a friend on mine and they had a link to his old group, Fawn. I joined the Facebook Page, I wrote to the friend of the friend of the friend and asked for news.

And the news was neither expected nor was it good.

RY died 5 years ago, at the age of 54, of Hodgkins Lymphoma.

May he rest in peace and may he be walking on the moon, smiling that 1,000 watt smile down on us all.

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