I’m still struggling with the depression but I’m trying. I wrote this a couple of weeks ago but never got around to posting it. I received word that a lifelong friend of mine died.
When I was fourteen I met my friend George. I first saw him staring at me at the carnival. I had just moved to the town and was alone, walking the carnival circuit. I saw a big biker guy working one of the rides. He had this intensity to him even then that drew me to him. When I first noticed him, I froze for a moment. I remember I was wearing a Harley Davidson shirt with the neck ripped out so it hung off one shoulder, “Flashdance” style. (I’m dating myself but yes, this was the 80s.) It’s funny the things you remember. We didn’t speak. He just stared, and I was shy so I didn’t approach him either. Then I saw him in town and a few other places, always stopping to stare at me but not speaking. Finally I saw him at the County Fair. I was there with my brother and stepmother and we were about to leave. I was heading in one direction of the fair and he was heading in the other when we passed. He turned and came up behind me and said “I see you everywhere I go but I still don’t know your name.” Fourteen year old me thought this was romantic. He was three years older than me, a big biker/teddy bear of a guy. He was good looking but a little heavy, with dimples, biker boots, a leather jacket, a great smile and a shitty attitude. I think I may have written about him before. If so, bear with me. I had a crush for a while, as did he, but we didn’t get together. We became friends and sort of dated a little, but more friends than anything. I used to run around with him and another mutual friend named Scott. There were nights spent drinking and nights spent running and days spent hanging around.
George stayed a friend. When I broke up with my first serious boyfriend and fiancée at 22, George cut the engagement ring off my finger. I remember him asking “Do you wanna keep the finger?” while laughing with this demented expression. George was always funny. That was probably his best attribute. He briefly got a gig doing stand up comedy in Baltimore. I’m not sure what happened but it didn’t work out and he never tried again. George helped me move into my first apartment after breaking up with David and while moving I remember him in the bathroom singing “Roxanne”. It had gotten to be somewhat of a running joke between us and I got the giggles so bad I couldn’t breathe. He lived with his grandmother and I picked him up from there many nights. We fought once in a while, but always made up. Sometimes he would crash on my couch, or other times he would come wake me up to go do something ridiculous
He came to think he loved me, and was charming and persistent in trying to get me to be with him, but it wasn’t working. I don’t know if he actually did love me, but he thought he did. I remember him singing various songs to me, riding motorcycles, and being in a riot in Pennsylvania with him. I remember being angry with him one night and screaming at him from my balcony. My apartment was on the second floor and I remember flinging everything I had of his off the balcony and then throwing two liter soda bottles at him. He could do that to me… make me so angry that I would see red and lose my temper completely. I had quite the temper back then too. I beat up a girl at the carnival one night. We had history that’s not really relevant, but I had been after her and she had been hiding from me instead of facing me. George was with me that night. We were hanging around a little before I had to go into work. When I saw her at the carnival I laid into her and I really beat the crap out of this girl. The carnival workers jumped on me and two of them pulled me off her. They had me on the ground with my arms pulled back when this girl’s husband came after me. He had his fist drawn back and dropped down on his knees to hit me as I was pinned, when George stepped in and told him to back the fuck off. (Yeah that guy was a giant pussy, trying to punch a girl who was pinned down.) Then we ran before the police showed up, with me high on adrenaline and victory, and George trying to get me out of the carnival without getting into another fight with some friend of this woman who thought she might try to avenge her. It was not my finest moment, I admit. I was young, wild and pissed off.
I remember being at the apartment I lived in after that one and George showed up one night. He was drunk and was at the foot of my stairs proclaiming his love for me –loudly and at length. He had someone drop him off at my place specifically so he could do this. I had to drive him home again because I would not let him stay the night. I remember being scared for him and hunting for him in the graveyard late one night. He had left his truck on blasting Ozzy’s “No More Tears” and had wandered off into the graveyard. I was so worried. I remember him trying to get in my pants at the gravel pit, standing in the moonlight with his pants pulled down. I turned on the car and drove away, leaving him there like that, and giggling like a banshee. I remember taking him to his friend’s house and being absolutely furious with him when I realized what was going on (activities I wanted no part of). I remember spending time with his son, who had developmental problems. I have so many memories of him. I could go on like this for a few pages telling George stories. My best friend used to say that we’d be in our rocking chairs and he would still be after me.
We did finally have a serious falling out. It was about ten years ago and we lost touch after that. He got involved with someone and I got married and moved out of state. But if I had run into him again, I think we would have greeted each other as the old friends that we were. So now he’s dead. I don’t know what the cause was. A friend of mine that was unaware of my history with George let me know and it hit me pretty hard. I let Tara know, and that was even more pain. God I miss her. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. RIP George. I’ll always remember you fondly.