Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Inger Erickson, RIP

I sent this letter to her a couple weeks ago.

Do you remember how we first met?

It was June, 2001. Francis had set me up at Jan’s house in Brooklyn two months previous, and I was looking for a job. Fran asked you to help me out, explaining that I was a younger version of you – misanthropic attitude, all black clothes, and of course, long blond hair.

I called you, and in your celebrated crass demeanor, you said, “I’m so fucking sick of helping people. But Fran & Mickey said you’re a good kid, so this is probably the last favor I’ll ever do for them."


Friday evening I walked up to your office, and you came to meet me at the door. When you saw me, you kinda froze. Mickey’s snarky voice ran through your head.

“I saw Jeff – when did you and Francis have a kid?"

You seemed to mellow out as we walked over to the bar, where I got to meet Cary, Evan, Brett (and his TV-throwing girlfriend), fat-fingered Tony, and a couple other of your friends & co-workers. We sat down and you introduced me to everyone. We all talked for a while, establishing how I met Francis at the printing plant in upstate New York. You looked over my sparse portfolio and said that you would give me assignments to beef it up a little.

Some time had passed as we got to know each other, and I began to realize you were holding my hand. I didn’t tell you then, but that’s the first time anyone has done that with me. I’ve never felt that close to anyone before, but it was nice learning that I could be. After everyone else in our party had left, we commiserated about our families; I held you close as you cried. You looked up at me from my tear-soaked shoulder, kissed my cheek, and said, “I can’t believe I’m even telling you all this; I just met you!"

I didn’t know what else to say other than, “you’re helping me, so I’m here to help you.” You opened your heart to me. How could I respond with anything but tenderness? After you composed yourself, you invited me to use the spare computer in your office to complete my assignments and hunt for a job. It was late, and we both needed to get home. Holding hands, I walked you to the A/C/E stop on Canal Street. You gave me a great big hug and kissed my cheek again; I reciprocated. During the next couple of weeks, I’d come in to your office each day for a couple of hours. We’d go over the assignments you gave me, and you’d teach me a few tricks. One day, you were very swamped and had to come in on a Saturday, and you invited me along. After you finished your tasks, we walked to the South Street Seaport, and picked up some pizza along the way. You picked a bench overlooking the East River, and we talked about relationships. We sat there in each others’ arms, admiring the view, and you gave advice like “don’t date normal people; they won’t understand you.

You squeezed my hand again, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was a human being. I felt like I was worthy of receiving love and affection, like I was worthy of living.

In my extended bouts of depression and anxiety, I try to hold onto that feeling you gave me. No one, before or since that day, has ever made me feel the way you did. For that, Inger, I will never forget you, and I will always love you.

"The bleakness of the landscape is unimaginable. It is as friendless and alien as a Dali painting. Ordinary concerns, such as work or friends, have no place here. Futility muffles thought; time elongates cruelly. Who is to blame for this situation? Those with depression think it must be them. Pointlessness and self-loathing govern them. So the natural final step is suicide. People with depression don’t kill themselves to frighten an errant boyfriend. They kill themselves because it is the obvious and right thing to do at that point. It is the only positive step they can think of."

Kay McKall
an Ipswich (UK) general practitioner
and consumer with depression,
writing in the British Medical Journal
(NAMI Advocate, winter 2002)

I was having a few bad thoughts over the weekend, so I signed up for insurance. I don't know when it will kick in, but now I have something to look forward to.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Simpsons Movie.

ALEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEX is supposed to emerge from Jersey to see this. When he does, we must meet at the Kwik-E-Mart in Times Square, and then go see the movie.

The question is: WHEN are we going to do this?


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Giovanni Sollima - Sogno ad Occhi Aperti (Daydream)

Part 2 is my favorite. Like Jimi Hendrix on a cello.


I've made mp3s of these tracks. Feel free to email me for them.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Someone has hacked my MySpace account, so I've started a new one.


The problem is, I can't log in to the old one at all; it's completely rejecting my info.

Here's the old link:


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Things are not looking up.

Remember my friend Inger?

She's been battling Phase III Astrocytoma for about two years now. There's nothing left for the doctors to do, except for some radical treatment that has a better chance of killing her than helping her. Because of all the damage done to her brain, her short-term memory is fading fast. A nurse comes in for a few hours every day to look after her, and her fiancée Michael is taking care of her.

I don't know if she remembers me. I haven't seen her since Liam's baptism, before she got sick.

It figures - one of the very few people to make me feel like a human being, like I'm worthy of receiving love and affection, like I'm worthy of living, is lying on her death bed.

I'm trying to write her a letter, but I don't know what to say, other than how much I love & miss her.

I hate losing friends.