Happy Monday! Its a beautiful day to be alive. The sun is out, the dogs down the block are barking and I'm ready for the week. This week is Ash Wednesday and I'm sitting here thinking what I should give up for lent. I usually don't give anything up I just stick to the regimen of no meat on Friday but I felt that's too easy because it gives me an excuse to smoke a bone and go to the all you could eat Sushi spot by my house. Where's the effort in that? So this year I have to figure out something.
People always ask me how I ended up in Colorado? I tell people that in 83' my friend Jimmy and I packed up a car and went out there. I wish it was that easy. I was 19, I was into some crazy shit and like every other kid my age, I was looking for the answers. There I was living a life of crime 24/7, doing drugs and simply going nowhere. I had the answers but I didn't know where to start. One night I'm sitting at a bar called, Joe and Mary's in New Jersey. It was my usual hang at that time of my life. I'm sitting there and there next to me is this guy. He looked familiar. I wasn't sure if it was who I thought. I had heard that he was in Colorado at The Air force Academy. I asked him if his name was Jimmy and he immediately remembered me. We had met years earlier at some function in my home town. I asked him what he was doing there? He said he had gotten thrown out of the Academy and was now coming home to get his stuff together to move to Basalt, Colorado a town thirty minutes from Aspen.
During our conversation I asked him about the job market and how much the rent was and if I needed a car, general questions. I was looking to get out. He could feel it so he asked? I told him it would take me a week or two to put some finances together which meant, I had to rob some people. He said that we needed a car to drive out there so we needed to buy one. They had a house and I could stay there till I got situated so I told him I was in. We bought a car and set a date to leave. We were a week a way from the journey and I still hadn't put all my pieces together so he told me he was leaving without me and I could fly out when I was ready. I could tell he was mad. I begged him to wait a week but he said he had to get back.
I was waiting to hit a drug dealer that got his product once a month and would stash it in a parking garage with the proceeds from that score I was going to pay a loan shark debt wait a week or two then hit him for a huge loan and split. I finally hit the drug dealer. I'm out celebrating with my friends and who do I bump into? Jimmy! He said the engine blew up in Pittsburgh and the car had to be towed back. It was a sign! Now I had to go back.
We fixed the car, I beat the loan shark and on April 25th, 1983, I left North Bergen, New Jersey for a new life. It took us 3 days in a car, with 2 joints and one 8 track, Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti, but we made it. We lived in Basalt for a while then Jimmy and I got a apartment in Snowmass Village. I lived with Jimmy for a year till I fucked up and moved back to Jersey.
I always kept in touch with Jimmy after that. He was my friend. When I moved back to Colorado in 85, he gave me his house sitting job because he was now moving to New Jersey. He was getting married and starting a family. We would talk every two weeks and we always made each other laugh. Last fall I was talking to Jimmy and he mentioned that he was coming to San Diego in November so we made loose plans to see each other so I booked a gig down there. The night of the gig I get a call from him saying that he's going to miss the show because he's going to spend time with his family, he has a brother there and his wife and son came out also. In a way my feelings were hurt. To make things worst I don't hear from him the rest of the time. I thought we probably out grew each other, he has a family, I have cats, he's a working man, I'm a fucked up comic, what can you do?
It's early January and I'm on the phone with a dear friend of mine and he asked if I had heard from Jimmy that he had heard from his parents that Jimmy was real sick. I immediately called the house and left a message.Two days went by and I heard nothing so I called again and he answered. He told me that he had skin cancer and that it had gotten into his lymph nodes and spread into his lungs. He also told me it didn't look good. That he had found out about it in September and wanted to tell the family while they were all together, that's why he couldn't see me. He said that the cancer was a strong one but he was going to fight it and that he didn't want anyone to know because he didn't want anyone feeling sorry for him that he was going to live his life. I was blown the fuck away!
I'm going to new Jersey next week on my way to Rochester. I'm going to see my friends, eat some food, put some flowers on my mom's grave, do a show in the city but the real reason is to say hello or goodbye to an old friend. I pray everyday that this cocksucker beats this or stays alive long enough for me to make him proud, for the chance he gave me knowing I was crazy, for talking to me about History while we did bong hits for Jerry's kids, for not judging me while I was robbing drug dealers left and right while we were living together but most importantly for saving my life in 1983, and for not changing the oil in that car before the trip, because if he would have, I wouldn't be writing this right now.
This one was a tough one to write, thank you for reading. Have a great week but most important...............STAY BLACK!
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