My friend John
Written September 9, 2011 at 5:06pm
Then we graduated. He went away to school and so did I but we both found our way back to our hometown. His father’s death took a toll on him. My indecision led me to Washington DC to study something random that got me a job waiting tables. I forced him to move to Washington. He confessed that he was gay. I rolled my eyes and told him that I knew that a long time ago. I dragged him to his first gay bar and we lived together like Oscar and Felix for a year. He moved out one day. No notice. He broke my heart. We didn’t talk for awhile. I moved to NYC. I got word that he had moved there and reached out. The years that we hadn’t spoken were like minutes and soon we were back to old tricks only older and wiser. He hosted elaborate dinner parties with china, steuben and lots of gossip. I hosted dinner parties where everyone agreed to order in. He and his long time partner Tom came to my wedding and were the talk of the town – I had to explain to the girls that they were not for sale. When I threw my bouquet of wishes, John caught one of the flowers. It was a perfect day and his presence and that of his sister, my dear friend Amy made my day even more special. We were back together – oh how I had missed my friends. In 2006 (Feb to be exact), we bought a house outside of NYC on ten acres of land. A small log cabin that would later grow. John was the first tenant and my co-decorator. We spent weekend after weekend together. It was during this time that I suffered many miscarriages and he was my rock. Although he didn’t care to hear about the particulars of my female parts, he did listen and he cared. One Saturday I had planned a big get together with all of our hometown friends. Unfortunately the date coincided with the transfer of four embryos into my uterus. I joined the team up at the house and was treated like a baby. “No walking up the stairs” – Tom and John’s orders. “Leave mama alone” – nobody was allowed to stress me out, look at me the wrong way. They took care of me….that weekend I did get pregnant and it was touch and go for a while. My husband was traveling a lot – Middle East, etc. but I always had Johnny as my weekend log cabin companion. When I went into labor at 31 weeks, it was John and Tom who sat with me in the hospital….my husband could’t take the boredom and headed to a bar. When I gave birth, Tom and John were one of the first to hold our son. My wee one…..he fit perfectly in their hands and a very memorable photo was taken of him resting in his palm. Over the next 9 months, they were frequent guests at our house. You would often find one of them asleep with my little one on their chest. They called themselves his “fairy godfathers”. They were greeted with screams of delight whenever my little boy saw them after any absence – even a week.
Lately John has been sick and I started a company so we’ve been trading phone tag rather than gossip. I’ve been counting down the days until I could resume our life in NYC replete with long soaks in the hot tub at midnight, dinner parties at each others houses and more babies for the fairy godfathers.
There is more but for now, I have to do something other than cry and worry. I have to tell you about my friend who I love and would find hard to live without….please send him strength. I no longer believe in God – well, not the God that most people believe in. Don’t fault me for it, I have my own beliefs.
I do know that John is one of the kindest, most humble and fun people I’ve ever known. 26 years is a long time to love someone. I’ll keep doing it for the rest of my time – please let it be with him rather than without him. That is all I want.
John died three days later – just as I was circling the airport, about to land and rush to his bedside – he went to the light. He was in his early forties.
Never forget what you have. It can all go in an instant. Cliche but never were words more true. I mss him each and every day and am grateful I had that kind of friendship once…