A foe of mine passed. We never really liked each other, we only “sort of” knew each other through our work and our mutual friends.
I didn’t like his writing, and he despised mine. We were in the same circles in our 20’s, playing laughing dancing at Barbarella. (I didn’t use commas, because those denote pause….and we never paused to play laugh or dance in those days). I was the strange one in the corner, he was more mainstream. He went on to write for magazines in his 30’s, I went on to write for myself. I’d hear him on the radio, on NPR and get pissy because he wasn’t allowed a counter point. I offered often a counter point, a conservative one. NPR declined.
I’d see him here and there in my 40’s, at the post office, at the grocery store. We had become weird boys grown into men doing what responsible people do….and still I just huffed and passed him by, as he would roll his eyes at me.
He wasn’t an enemy. He was just someone I didn’t agree with. And I guess our versions of life and how we get to our dreams were so contradictory that we didn’t see the similarities. We had different paths, but the same dreams. Because of that, we sneered at each other.
He hadn’t been feeling well. Spent weeks feeling awful. When he finally went to the hospital they discovered he had pneumonia. There was nothing more they could do. And another legend in this town went quietly at the age of 45.
He was someone in life I never cared for, never wanted to be around. But, I’ll light a candle for him, wondering what bliss may have come if he and I had only attached ourselves to our similarities, rather than our differences. God bless you, Billy….Cheers.