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Jay Salmon, a year after

1998-10-31 Jay's costume for Ghoulbooty


Today it has been a year since my friend, Jay Salmon, died unexpectedly of heart failure at age 49. I still vividly remember the shock and disbelief and the sense of unreality I felt at the news. But here it is, a year later, and it's still real.

In that year, two more friends have died -- two more people I considered "my age". I guess I've entered the stage of my life when death in my cohort will be more common. It's a sobering thought, and a reality, like Jay's death, that I'm trying to learn how to accept.

Jay's death was much harder for me to take than Velma or Stu's, partly because I was closer to him and partly because it was so abrupt and out of the blue. There was no warning and no time to prepare. My own morbid imagination has often wondered over the years, "What if I suddenly died right this instant?" Such fantasies always seem to end in the same place: there's nothing you can do to prepare for that, so why worry about it? But the memory of losing Jay keeps me coming back to it. I feel I shirk the thought of my own death because I'm not ready for it and I still can't accept the inevitability.

Well, I'm sure this confused wrestling match will continue. Meanwhile, I remember Jay and the many fun and strange and warm times we had together, many of them on Halloween. I remember going to the Halloween show at Union Station in 1988 with him and several other friends to see the Butthole Surfers and thereby seeing an opening act called Nirvana as well. I remember the Halloween when he dressed as in the picture above, and he and Elonna and I went to Ghoulbooty at the Elysian and danced our asses off. I remember the Halloween when he recommended we watch a double feature of The Bride of Frankenstein and Planet of the Vampires, thus introducing me to two of my very favorite movies. I remember the Halloween when we were hanging out in my house and he called his daughter to wish her good night and to tell her he loved her. He was an excellent human being with a thing for Halloween. He had a rubber skeleton toy that he called Mr. Bendy. Endless memories. I wish we were still making new ones together.

With Sophia and Jay
With Sophia and Jay

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
stevegreen
Dec. 11th, 2014 01:17 pm (UTC)
I know exactly how you feel, Randy.

We just passed the first anniversary of the loss of my dear friend Joel Lane. He was 50. The cause of death remains uncertain.

He and I were solid supports to each other in the wake of losing Ann (they were very close), and I still find his absence bewildering.
randy_byers
Dec. 11th, 2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
It's really hard to lose such a good friend.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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