David was my friend. BFF, in today’s parlance. We clicked the minute we met online, back in BBS and Fidonet days, got together in the real world, and pretty much hung out as often as possible until he died of complications from prostate cancer four years ago. Two decades was not enough time with him. He was one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever known. He also had a sharp wit, was incredibly intelligent, and possessed a wicked sense of humor. He taught me a lot about people and life and having a good time.
He grew up poor. I mean, really poor. His parents were hardcore fundamentalists, which warped his early years (he said so himself). After he hit college (scholarship), he happily became an atheist. He met S that first year, and they married when they were nineteen. There was never any question they’d remain together until death, and they did.
They were travelers, amateur astronomers, spelunkers (they helped map Mystery Cave in MN), great readers, stamp collecters, entrepreneurs, and they loved sharing everything with friends. I enjoyed more dinners there than I can count, drank their wine and beer, and watched movies in their home theater. David was six years older than me. He was as die-hard a liberal as me (as were all our friends), and loved to learn new things, just like me. I wish I could talk to him about our current political climate, but a part of me is glad he never knew we’d have an asinine self-serving jerk like Trump in the White House. He would have been flabbergasted.
David was also a professional builder, and he could do magical things with wood. His philosophy was dream it, then build it. He built his house with the help of a few friends, of whom I was one. You’ve seen their library. Here are two photos, each from a different perspective.
He built that. He and S designed and built everything. It was a hell of a project. I was so glad to be a part of it.
The reason I thought about David today was because I replaced a broken closet doorknob in the bedroom. You’d think it would be cut and dried, right? Standard everything.
But fuck no. The set I got didn’t quite fit the holes that had been drilled, and I didn’t have the equipment to make it happen.
“David would have made this work,” I said to myself.
I saw that man bend a straight piece of wood around several others in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible, and he did it without thinking. He just made it happen. I was floored.
So I removed the old knob set and made the new one work. I did it, just like David would have, and it looks fine and works great. 🙂
I miss him. I will always miss him. But what he taught me, I’ll remember forever.
If Suki had had pups, he’d have demanded I give him one. 🙂
See you next time.