About four years ago, I was planning the opening of my bricks and mortar store called Arts & Artisans. What a great time that was! I had paid a half months rent on the space and I was busy making signs and bringing in equipment, getting a credit card machine and insurance, contacting artists, - etc.
And my friend Jeff was dying.
Here in Lovely Laconia, there are not many people with whom one can talk about Philosophy, the Buddha, and Great Ideas.
Jeff was one of those souls that happen now and again, that are not firmly planted in the world as we know it. He was a free spirit in the very best meaning of the phrase.
He loved Indie movies and his cat, Lucky. Also good coffee. He wanted to have a little expresso machine in my store. I wanted him to be a part of my enterprise, since he seemed to have such an interest.
Jeff lived a few houses down from me; I could see his house from the kitchen window. Everybody in the world seemed to know him and he was universally beloved. He had a brain tumor at age 30. There was surgery, chemo and stuff. I guess it recurred several years later, and there was more surgery and chemo. And then again. He kept his secrets well. Lots o' pain meds and herbal medicine were what kept him alive and in this cosmic plane.
He had pirate satellite TV, with all of the movie channels. I loved to visit him to watch movies and talk about religion and philosophy. And things in general.
It was the third week of February, 2004, that I saw him for the last time. His mom had picked him up for a trip to the hospital in Louisville. I was checking the mail box as they drove by and he weakly waved at me.
The next day he was dead, at forty years of age.
I miss him.