Writing is so much cheaper than therapy, and you can drink while you do it!

Writing is so much cheaper than therapy, and you can drink while you do it!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Death.  It's such a final word. The end. No more. Game's up, no more time outs or do-overs.  Inertia undone. Hmmmm.
The law of inertia states that it is the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion.  Newton's first law of motion: an object not subject to any net external force moves at a constant velocity. Thus an object will continue moving at its current velocity until some force causes its speed or direction to change.  Gravity, friction, contact, or some other source. 
Death? Bingo.
But perhaps death is just another form of inertia. It has a constant velocity. Once something is dead...it's dead.
Unless it's a zombie.

But I digress.
Death as an object. An obstacle.  It's an obstacle of life, certainly, with its own character and meaning. A vehicle to what lies beyond the physical state -- a blueshift of consciousness towards the hereafter, a red shift of life to un-life. Matter and energy.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be saved in various forms. 
In all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will always be less than that of the initial state.

Uh-oh...Thermodynamics, and I'm not sure I want to open that can of worms.

Yeah. I'm using that damned physics degree to get all metaphysical and whatevs. Money well spent, eh?

I'd like to talk about Larry. 
Who is Larry? 
Both of us. 

It's complicated, but that's our name. A title bestowed upon both of us during a warm summer day and a drunken quest to find our guru. We found the guru, a tiki bar owner suitable as a stand-in, but realized that we (Larry and I, Larryx2) each were a guru to the other.  We were Larry. 

Who was my Larry?
My friend. My brother (chosen family). Part of my heart. He is (technically was) my best friend. He knew what I was thinking from just the look on my face. He knew when I was sad, he knew when I was feeling evil and rallied to help me purge the wicked -- a great provider of alibis and assistance. 
A musical sounding board. A brilliant musician and purveyor of all things awesome. He was there when I met my husband. He approved...mostly. Me falling in love meant that the inseparable Larry Duo of Legend would change. But he loved my DH because I loved my DH, and because Darling Hubby is awesome. He'd have to be. And he is. So Larry loved him as much as I did.

And yes, as you've probably surmised from the first part of this blog, my Larry died.
Suddenly. Unexpectedly. He had his very own singularity. His aorta went super nova and now I'm dwelling in the event horizon of the burgeoning black hole of loss. 

Deep, eh?
I don't do death well. Nope. Not at all. Shite, who does? Dying people do. But they kind of don't have a say in it really. They just clock in to the new job, heads down, backs bent, and head on in. 
Gallows humour is my constant sidekick. My comfort zone. Unfortunately I've been living in that comfort zone a little too much lately -- my sister, then my mom...now my beloved Larry. 
But please don't stop reading. This isn't a sad blog. I won't EMO you away from your day. (hhhmmm...that rhymed) 

But it's my humour that keeps me moving. Keeps me upright when all I want to do is collapse in a bundle of tears and loss and sadness.

Damn it...I wandered again. This post is about Larry and saying goodbye.  I'm still working on that. In HE MAN world they never say goodbye, they say GOOD JOURNEY.

yeah, baby. Track 5.

Where the feck did that come from? 

I got the call that Larry had suffered an aortic aneurysm and that he was in surgery. But I knew...too much damned edjumacayshun for my own good...that he was gone.  I steadied myself for what was coming. Others begged and pleaded with the universe, buoyed themselves with hope, and I just sat quietly knowing what was coming. I hated myself for that. I wished that I could be the friend who was optimistic. The one who had faith. In truth I was numb. 
It wasn't fair. 
In three weeks he was coming home to me here, leaving Georgia behind to start a new life. I had his one way ticket. It was a done deal. This wasn't supposed to happen. 

Memorial tattoo. Twelve hours after he died.

It was a quick funeral. He died on a Saturday and was to be buried on a Tuesday. 
Gallows slip: I commented that things don't keep in the heat of the summer in the south.  Too soon? Probably. But Larry would have laughed.
I made the journey alone to his funeral. I had to. It wasn't a journey for my children to take even though they loved Uncle Larry. And DH's heart was breaking for Larry loss as well. But he stayed with the wee babes so I could make the good journey. Not a goodbye, but a good journey.

I kept updating my FB page...just to feel connected:

So far an interesting day: wasn't paying attention and sat down next to a Little Person and asked for a light. Be proud of me. I didn't scream. And then I chipped a tooth trying to close my purse zipper with my teeth. Lovely. Larry...this is how much I love you going through all this for you. — at Portland International Airport.
In my grief, I was distracted. I can't believe it. The horror, the horror. And she kept chatting at me as I sat there, unable to move. I'm a terrible person.

So I'm in the hotel in Atlanta. Oh boy.
The one prerequisite I gave the agent was NO HAIR IN THE BATHTUB.
She assured me this was a newer hotel and clean.
Checked in.
Oh my.
The fabulous desk clerk is a ray of sunshine. Just a doll. Needs to move to Portland, though.
The hotel? Oh dear.
Two hairs in the bathtub and I'm afraid to look under the bed. And I think the ice machine moved when I walked by...I know it growled.
I've become such a spoiled, pampered princess.

This place was disgusting. Dirt caked everywhere, a strange dripping noise coming from my closet, and odd smudged fingerprints on the door jambs and light covers. Made me think it was recent crime scene. I slept in my clothes on top of the covers, with a towel on the pillow case to avoid head lice. Yeah...it was that bad. The night clerk was a preop male to female -- she was beautiful, but had a deep masculine voice. Made me instantly homesick for Portland. 

Good morning.
In the light of day this hotel has a different face. Still slightly grubby and worn, but not as horror inducing as in the wee hours of the morning. The staff are kind and warm, and the sun is shining.
Today is going to be very difficult, so it's the accumulation of the little kindnesses that will help me get through the day.
It's a two hour, twenty-one minute drive to Tennille. I'm dreading every second of it because with each passing mile and each passing second I come closer to saying goodbye.
Trips like this serve more purpose than just closure -- self reflection and prioritization of the important things. That's the crux. Life is for the living.

The staff helped me get ready for the funeral. Every terror from the night before disappeared with the kindnesses offered. Hugs from perfect strangers go a long way to reviving a fire in your heart.

When I was driving through rural Georgia I had a few oooooh moments where I recognized scenery from The Walking Dead. Disconcerting to say the least.
I was quite sure I was going to run into Rick or Michonne at any moment and worried how much of a damage deposit I'd have to pay on the rental car if I rammed a zombie.
Deep thoughts. You can imagine what was going through my head at the cemetery. 

My poor Larry is lying in a box and all I can think is, "Please don't wake up...don't make me shoot you in the brain."

Not one of my finer moments.  
But I probably wouldn't shoot him in the brain.  It would suck to lose him twice.

Through this trip I got closure. Mostly. I recently told a friend that there is no time limit on grief. I should listen to my own advice.  I'm still hurting. I'm still raw in places. My heart has a hard time beating sometimes. Motivation is idle. But I need to get moving again. I have to. Life is for the living.
That's life. And death. Inertia and entropy. Thermodynamics and religious gobbledygook. 

Jason McNally Smith, my beautiful Larry, I love you. I've got to start being me again, though. 
Save a seat for me in Valhalla. It will be a while, but I'll get there eventually.




  1. Good Journey, Jason McNally Smith. Larry.

    Foi, nothing but hugs and <3


Hi. I do not eat compressed meat products in aspic and I do not like wiping the salty pork product from the blog. In other words...ixnay on the amspay.