Is It Safe To Gnaw Through The Straps Now? (ericcoleman) wrote,
Is It Safe To Gnaw Through The Straps Now?
ericcoleman

From Star

3. Do you know someone personally that is living with AIDS? That has died of AIDS?

I dropped the other questions, mostly because I have been with one person for the last 17 years, so my danger level is pretty low.

But, I did want to write about two friends of mine.

L was a large, hysterically funny, outgoing arabic man who I went to college with. He was the target of what was probably my best insult ever (which he then used on others). One fairly drunken night he was telling me how cute I was (this was when I was young and skinny and pretty) and how if I ever had an urge ...
My reply was to look him in the eye and say "but L, I prefer men".
His reaction was loud and hysterical and very funny because it was followed with "I am stealing that line".

He also came up with the best line ever about me. I used to be an avid Donkey Kong player. He once said that I liked the game so much because I talked like the little man sounded. Simply the best comment on my stutter ever. My then g/f was there when he said it and and told me about it because, knowing me well, knew that I would find that sort of poking fun to be extremely funny. Me being me I of course bugged him with it saying "SO, I sound like the little guy in Donkey Kong do I?" This followed by another wonderful L explosion.

This sort of banter typified our friendship.

He was one of the most vibrant folks I have ever known. Imagine John Rhys Davies as a flaming, flaming, flaming queen, with an enormous and glorious baritone voice and you have a good idea. He died a couple of years after we moved back to Iowa. He had been living with the disease for several years, but just wasn't strong enough to continue. The world is a sadder place for his not being in it. I miss him.

L lived in a house with two friends of mine. When he graduated another fellow moved in in his place. A very talented young actor who I shall call D. D became aware of his infection when we were still in Chicago, so 13 or more years ago. He survives. I hope that he continues to do so. He never liked me much, but I certainly liked him. He was funny, amazingly powerful onstage and one of the rudest people it has ever been my pleasure to know.

And lastly.

There is this song on the No Alternative record that came out a decade or so called Glynis. She was the bass player in a band called Friends Of Betty, this amazingly chaotic punk band who were one of my favorites at the time and then later the brilliant Red Red Meat. She had been fighting some sort of illness for some time. I'm not sure if it was known before or after she died that she had AIDs. But one day her hair fell out, and about a week later she was dead. RRM was playing a show shortly afterwards. They had been using a replacement bass player for a couple months. I remember walking into a new silent club and being hauled aside by Tim, the lead singer. "Have you heard". I had. "I wanted to be the one to tell you if you hadn't". He was terrified, since they had been involved on and off for several years. He's ok, still negative, but he won't talk about that time much.

Back to the song. It is this awful touchy feely wimp of a song. Everyone I ever talked to who knew her agrees that she would have hated it. Rage, that is what she would have wanted. She loved loud, obnoxious, fun music. Billy Corrigan did her such a dis-service with this whiny song. For that matter he hardly knew her.

I'm sad that I will never see her brandishing her beat up fender bass like it was a rhythm guitar, pounding out chords where most would just play a note. She was fun, odd, beautiful in a decidely Glynis sort of way. A blast onstage. She had a sharp sense of humor which took some aback, but which I loved, me being me and all.

Three folks of such talent, two of them gone.
Tags: aids
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