This photo was either taken on your birthday or shortly thereafter – it was another Santa Barbara day in December and something like 70 degrees. We took the Pentax K1000 all over town and photographed each other in rose bushes, beside trees, under the wharf on the beach. We had just bought the VW van and were still planning our escape back up to the Bay Area.
It was at the start of it all, and so long ago in 1985, the year we met. We were just babies in our early 20s. All I knew was Los Angeles and punk rock and Catholic school. You were, to me, this beacon of possibility, expanding my musical horizons, teaching me how to drive a stick shift, showing me that yes, vegetables are tasty and can make a complete meal.
We hadn’t even become anything that we were to be. You were a baker; not a produce buyer, not a pizza dough thrower, let alone a radio DJ & station manager. I was a drop out, still programming silly things like the TI99/4A as a hobby and interning at a North Hollywood recording studio (“Obsession” by Animotion, anyone?), not yet a truck driver, nor a produce manager, nor a network ops geek, let alone a grad student. Most of the people outside of our families who would be so important to our lives we had not even met yet. Colorado? Not even in any plan, whatsoever.
I was walking around Old Colorado City tonight checking out the local art scene and having some Christmas cheer with the artists. One exceptional photographer asked what brought me out to Colorado. The story of your death ran through my mind and I dismissed it to give my usual cover story about living the good life. It wasn’t until I was walking home and looked up at the moon that I realized: it’s your birthday.
That is, if you still get to have birthdays. And 26 years flashed by me, lickety split. Cheers, babycakes, 51 years since you came into this world. Almost 10 now, since you’ve gone. And I’m still fishing for fallen light with patience.