Thursday, August 11, 2005

It's been a long week and I haven't run or walk at all. Karyn's mom health has deteriorated and we're not sure how long she has. Jules and I have tried to help out as much as possible. The best that we can do right now is watch Max, Zach and Megan. Those kids were at the house Tuesday, Wednesday and today. I took the day off yesterday and we all went to the beach. I am amazed at how these kids are going with the flow. Though, I'm not sure how aware they are that their Nana is dying.

The specter of death has hovered closely this week. Tuesday the 9th would have been my oldest friend, Matt Brookshire's birthday. He passed away in February and I have been dealing with that situation all year.

I know I have spoken about Matt in the past and his death came as a shock to everyone who knew him. The two of us went so far back, I don't recall how we met. I look back at pictures from 1st grade and there we are, the two of us in the same class. How did we meet? What made us become friends? And what made the friendship so strong that it endured for over 30 years. I miss him dearly even though we were out of touch for the last two years of his life.

Not a week went by that I didn't think about calling him to see how he was doing. Sadly, I had lost his phone number. Then, last Christmas I gathered the courage to call his mom and ask for his address and phone number. We had sent Christmas cards every year, and I sent him the Cf Marathon letters, but I never heard back. Still, I never received those letters and cards back from the post office. I thought that in a small way I was trying to stay in touch, even though it wasn't as personal as I would have liked.

When I called Mrs. Brookshire, I discovered that he was, in fact, still living at the same address. I felt angry back then. Why hadn't he at least sent some sort of letter? I didn't expect money.

I only have the words of his brother as to why Matt never called or wrote. I don't care to go into that because there's no point. Matt was an individual with his own remarkable view on life. He wanted to be Hemingway. Bukowski. Henry Miller. His life was his novel, so to speak. But Matt also suffered from diabetes and for a good portion of the time he had diabetes, he did not take care of himself. He drank a lot and like to indulge in good food. He didn't want to give up the pleasures in life. At least, that was the way he was the last time I saw him.

What he was like his last two years I'll never know. We had a very private relationship and we shared secrets. And he will always be a brother to me. His passing has left a void in my life. I am not sure when or if I will ever be over his death. If he had this kind of effect on me, you can imagine how his mom and brother's lives have been shattered.

Wherever his spirit is roaming, I know he is at peace. His influence is felt in everything I have written so far. King's Highway has a character based on him. And my latest script, Blood Brothers, is really about the two of us and how we grew apart.

Happy birthday, Matt, wherever you are. I love you, brother.



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