20 January 2006

To honor D.J.

This is partly blog as catharsis, and partly my need for the world to know someone whom they will never know if I don't write about him. It's raw and soaked in tears. I apologize.

How do I miss thee? Let me count the ways.
I miss your raucous, scratchy, knowing laugh, roughened by smoke and years of wicked humor.
I miss that you called me "doll" and "darling" and "baby" and "honey" and "bitch". Words I am not likely to hear spoken in reference to myself again.
I miss the way you knew my every instinct, my failings, and the way you cheer-led every positive thing about me. I believed those things through you. Now, I am unsure, lonesome, more shrill in my need for guidance.
I miss your knowledge of soap operas. Dammit, who else would crow like me: Noah and Scorpio are BOTH back on GH!! Can Anna be far behind?! Are you engineering this from the beyond?? If not, dear God, I hope they have SoapNet up on those clouds.
I miss the TV shows you would select for me, tape and send, because you perpetually worried that I didn't get enough down time. The reality shows that we mocked. The dramas that we became hooked on (and dished about, as if those characters lived down the street). The Kathy Griffin outrageousness that was just an extension of our own. The porn you threatened to provide, but never made good on.
I miss talking to you about our friends and our families. Sharing the good stories, or raking over the coals as merited.
I miss telling you when Peter and I have had ecstatic sex. Eagerly. And I miss that you're the one whose encouragement helped me get to that suggestive self who still entices the man I love.
I miss describing women's health issues until you beg for mercy. And my triumph that you actually had a boundary that I crossed.

I miss the fucking phone. Honest to God, no one ever calls me. I guess I crammed in a lifetime of seated, hours-long, receiver-clutching conversations with you.
I miss worrying about you, because I desperately wanted to help you get healthy enough for obesity surgery. And worrying was hope, after all. I also miss giving advice that you would gleefully harass your doctors with. Makes me proud, e.g.: I advised you not to take Fen-Phen. Now, when I read about improvements to bariatric surgery, or about some promising finding in a lab, I'm pissed off and thwarted.
I miss blabbing about the 70s with you. We both had the exact same outlook on that ridiculous, wide-collared decade. And our worlds both got shaken up by the decade that followed it. Only you know how much.
I miss complaining about my mom to you, because she's gone too, dammit, and I'd give anything to have something to say about her, to anyone, but especially to you.

I miss the relish in your voice whenever I told you about my diva Lydia. I know your spirit of impish rebellion and fashion sense has passed into her, but I wish I could update you on exactly how that's manifesting.
I miss the New York tang of your voice. The impatience of your tone, keeping the dang conversation moving. The microwave beep that meant your tea was ready. The intake of breath that meant your cig was lit.
I miss your advice. Fuck that, I crave your advice. How can I possibly contemplate my future without your input? How can I know if I'm totally crazy thinking something, without you telling me so? Because, honestly, most of the time when you told me that, it was news to me. My psyche needed your take on it.
I miss you reading my latest anything. I hate like hell that this blog phenomenon emerged after your passing. I wish you could have started one, too.
I miss hearing about your exploits. Your sense of daring outstripped anything I could ever imagine, much less would have ever attempted (or wanted to).
I miss the pride in my voice when I told someone about my "best friend." Because you were that, from the first time we met. Remember when we chat-roomed about that a couple of years ago? I saved it, baby, because it made me feel so good:
DJ: I thought you were stunning, and lest we forget you were wearing those boots the night we met...grrrrrrr

Nessa: Those boots, the Lil Abners!?

DJ: You were wearing these sort of mohagony colored boots up the knee....
High boots drive me wild....I'm sure I commented that night

Nessa: I have NO recollection of them! Oh man. Did they have spurs? I had spur boots with a spike heel back then....
But they were not past the knee. I never would have been allowed.

DJ: No spurs to my memory, but there were boots and those pants....what were they called?

Nessa: Gauchos??

DJ: No, to the knee


Nessa: I wore gauchos and boots. Geez, maybe I was a babe! LOL!!
It was like this: I walked up to you on 37th Street. It had rained for hours, and the evening streets were steamy and misty with it, making the orange streetlights glow brighter. We had never seen each other before, but your friend Tom was my burning crush, and I desperately needed intel.

So initially I had cold-called you, which scared me half to death at age 15 (I never did stuff like that). And we talked about music--always my raison d'etre--and you said you loved disco and hated the Beatles.

"WHAAAT??" I yelped into the phone, mortally offended. "What is there about the Beatles that anyone could hate??" (You didn't know it then, but they were my heroes.)

And you didn't back down to impress me, get flustered, or try to be cool. No, you said right back at me over that tinny Queens phone line, flatly: "They can't sing."

Such hubris. No one I knew preferred disco to the Beatles. And your VOICE. It was mesmerizing, dear. Even then, you could have hosted a radio show with that purring, opinionated, bitch-masculine voice.

And so we had decided to meet. And my anticipation was palpable. My hands shook, my heart pounded, I wore my fave of-the-moment clothes (see above). And while there was girl-guy electricity as we drew nearer to each other, coming into focus the closer we got...there was moreso a sense of relief, souls in the same orbit, yin to the yang. A conversation began immediately, no hesitation, and it was a shining thread that never ended until November 3, 2005.
Ahhhhh, life goes on, hon. All the ways I miss you are blunted by the busyness of my days. I must nurture my kids, work at a desk for pay, and deepen my love for Peter (an ever-renewing resource, as you well were aware). And I must be the person you always knew I was. Because I am. And I love you forever because you found that person in 1979, and walked with her into the future on a foggy, mysterious spring night.

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