My Friend Liz

26 Jun

I actually wrote this a few years ago, but I wanted to give it a home on my new blog too.  Be forewarned: it’s not my usual fare…

 

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Sometime around Christmas of 1995, shortly after I turned 21, I was sitting in my apartment alone watching movies or listening to music. (Not sure which.) There was a knock on the door and it turned out to be my friend Stan, who was just popping by to see what I was up to. With him was a young girl with short cropped blue hair, and she was introduced to me as  Liz.  I fell in love pretty much immediately. (Like I do)
The three of us hung out for a few hours, driving Stan’s car around the streets of Jackson and ending up eventually at the only place in that tiny little town where anything of noteworthiness ever happens: the local Denny’s. We sat and talked and before too long Liz had to return home so we drove her back to where she had parked her car. I shook her hand and told her it was nice to meet her and off she went. As soon as she was gone I began to bombard Stan with questions about her, (like we were still in junior high.)
“ Were they dating? Did she have a boyfriend? Did he think she might like me? Would he see if she would mind if I called her? When would he talk to her again?”
“No. No. Maybe. Sure. Soon.”
I believe it was the next morning when I called Stan up to begin pestering him.
“Have you talked to her yet?”
“It’s goddamn 9:00 O clock in the morning; what do you think?”
Eventually Stan talked to her and she gave him permission to forward me her number and I didn’t wait a minute to call her. We had a very pleasant date the very next evening hanging out at my apartment, eating pizza and watching ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’

Breakfast at Tiffanys

Note to guys: pizza and Breakfast at Tiffany’s for a first date is ALWAYS a winner!

After our first date, Liz and I ended up seeing each other for a few months and those were truly fun times.  (I think, by the way, she dyed her hair a different color about three times during that brief period!)  As often happens in our youth, our “romance” was a fleeting one, and although our break up was hard on me (good thing I had recently become old enough to buy myself alcohol!)  it wasn’t long before I realized that I really enjoyed being around Liz with or without a physical relationship and we began to hang out again as friends. (This of course rarely works but with someone as ultra-cool as Liz it was easy.)
The next five years we became very good friends and had many fun adventures together. There were several trips to Rocky Horror Picture Show. There was one night that she, myself, and my friends Shawn and Sean (I know, right?) were supposed to drive to Detroit together to see Jesus Lizard, but that night there was a major snow storm. Shawn bravely forged on ahead anyway but Sean, Liz and I opted to hang out at her house and play board games and watch movies instead. (Although Shawn safely made it to the concert and assured us it was AWESOME, I’ve never regretted our decision to stay in that night, as I’ve never regretted any time that I spent with Liz)
Probably one of the most exciting nights of my entire life was the night Batman Forever opened in the theaters. I had managed to convince no less than 6 other people, including Liz and her best friend Cherie, to join me in dressing ourselves up as various Batman villains and go to the movie. I was, of course, The Riddler. Liz and Cherie dressed up as Catwoman and Poison Ivy (respectively) and they by far pulled off their characters the best of all of us. (At first they both wanted to be Catwoman but my powers of persuasion prevailed once again and I managed to thoroughly convince them that we each had to be someone different and they were perfectly suited for those parts. They eventually agreed.)

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As far as I know, this is the only photo in existence of all of us in our costumes. We were at Denny’s. (Why it never occurred to any of us to take loads of pictures is beyond my speculation. )

When Batman and Robin came out I was unable to enthuse quite the same number of people but Liz, Sean and I faithfully put on our costumes and marched on into the theater to watch what was, undoubtedly, one of THE worst movies ever made! Just having Liz around however made it a fun escapade nonetheless, as she had the power to make any event fun no matter how dismal.

Eventually she and I drifted apart as friends too often do. She went on to obtain a college degree, get married and start a family and I continued pursuing my life’s goal of remaining a full grown child until the day I die.

About a decade passed.  Around the beginning of 2009 I came across her profile on Facebook and this inspired me to actually activate my hitherto completely forgotten about account and get in touch with her. She seemed very happy to hear from me and we started exchanging e-mails frequently. Towards the end of February I made a trip back to Jackson for a week and the highlight of the whole experience by far was a day I spent with Liz, her son Anton and his little friend Angela. We ate dinner at Olive Garden, went to Toys R Us where I found yet another Riddler to add to my huge collection (it’s a Pez Dispenser) and then just wandered around the mall for a few hours. Then she dropped me off at my next destination (being the wandering nomad I am.) We parted with a big hug and promised we would keep in touch and continue to hang out more frequently now that we’d found each other again.

Unfortunately this never happened.  Only a couple months later I found myself attending her funeral. She had, in fact, been very sick for the past year. I knew that but as far as I knew she’d gotten better, and on the last day I hung out with her she seemed totally fine. From what I understand now she knew she wasn’t going to get well again, but being the completely selfless person she always was didn’t want people to feel sorry for her or anything. All she wanted was to reconnect with everyone again before she left and I for one am very thankful for that last day I got to have with her.

I wish I could say the same about myself but I’m not that strong a person. As I sit here writing this it’s very hard for me not to feel sorry for myself and want sympathy from my friends for my own loss, even though any feelings of that nature should be reserved for Anton, who now has to go through life without someone who no doubt would have proven to be the coolest mother anybody could ever possibly hope for.

Liz was born after me and died before me, which is very hard for me to wrap my mind around. She lived a very short life, but as one of my favorite writers once said about a late friend of his own: “While she was here she stomped… on… the… terra.”

13 Responses to “My Friend Liz”

  1. thefoodandwinehedonist June 26, 2013 at 2:32 am #

    Man, what a terrifically written ode. It’s easy to focus on the sadness of her leaving too early, but it sounds like you have more than enough great memories..

    • domingosaurus June 26, 2013 at 7:37 am #

      Enough to last a lifetime! It’s been almost five years now since she took her leave from this party, and I still think about her on a daily basis.

  2. Agent Beetle June 26, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    Sorry for your loss, Dom! I know all too well the way you feel. As you know, my little Sister passed away at the age of 18. I can’t count the times I’ve teared up listening to the Dead Milkmen sing:

    “And when my friend and I were done
    We went to rest upon the sun
    Cause life takes from us the things we love
    And it robs us of the special ones
    And it puts them high where we can’t climb
    And we only miss them all the time.”

    • domingosaurus June 26, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      Hard to believe those words came from the same minds that came up with Right Wing Pigeons from Outer Space and Ringo Buys a Rifle!

      I know it’s hokey and cliche, but I really do believe that if we keep a little part of those who have left us behind in our hearts and memories, they haven’t completely gone.

  3. ioniamartin June 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    So sorry for your loss but what a beautiful dedication. I suspect you wear your heart on your sleeve as I do:)

    • domingosaurus June 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Yes I certainly do. I think it’s the best way to be.

  4. the winegetter June 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Oh Dom, this moved me very deeply. It is such a well written piece, and it shows your feelings. I’m beyond words. But I am glad you had the chance of seeing her again before she passed.

  5. Office Diva June 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    How fortunate for you to have known Liz, even through her star was brief in the heavens. She sounds like a wonderful soul. Your tribute to her is very touching. I won’t offer you condolences, since that is for the living. Instead I’ll offer you something else – keep writing, using the memories of this wonderful person as your Muse, because she inspired you to write something “different” as you said; more vulnerable, and a bit more about you. I like the way she inspired you. Keep writing! Enjoyed it very much.

    • domingosaurus June 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words and the encouragement. I’ll ALWAYS be a writer! I think being a writer is kind of like being in the Mafia. Nobody ever really retires from it.

      • Office Diva June 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

        Good answer! Hopefully there’s a lot less blood. RIP, Tony Soprano.

  6. Ms. Vee July 3, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    Thank you for following my blog. I will revisit yours.

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AlyZen Moonshadow

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AlyZen Moonshadow

The words and works of AlyZen Moonshadow, digital mixed media photography artist, designer, musician, poet, philosopher, mother, muse, Goddess!

Are You Finished Yet?

I like to write about stuff. I usually try to be funny. Take it or leave it.

Michael Rios

Sherlock unlocking the past

anewperspectiveperhaps

This site is about everything from my philosophy on life to the little things that make me laugh. IIt is about living, and breathing, and pausing long enough to take it all in. I hope it makes you laugh, sometimes makes you cry, but always makes you want to come back for another visit. It is your words, and your likes that inspire me to keep writing. And it is through my writing that you have a very large window to my soul. Relax awhile, read, and enjoy!

Be Free 2 Love

Soaring through Life, Love, & Happiness: One story at time.

PotatoPen

That's right! I write!

Forty, c'est Fantastique !

La vie est belle !

Mr Tookles

tee hee

The Dependent Independent

TV, movies, books…rants… just trying to put skills to use.

Fictional Kevin

Cigar Fueled Creative Writing

Tubularsock

". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

Elizabeth Conrad

True stories from a recovering asshole.

jenny's lark

the beauty of an ordinary life

Skinny and Single

Single and Over 40 and Not Suicidal About It

BunKaryudo

Lovingly Hand-Crafted Humor Blog

Life After 50

Life at any age can be amazing! We only need to grab hold & experience it!

Lessons from my daughter

Although all doctors agreed she would do nothing.....

lindaseccaspina

remembers the invention of the wheel

Fiction Favorites

with John W. Howell

Retro Girl & the Chemo Kid

Superpower: love. Adventures through childhood cancer, grief, healing and happiness.

What Rhymes with Stanza?

Words at rest, words at play

Life and Random Thinking

A old dog CAN blog

Fred in Wyo

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Our next Chapter

NestOfSquirrels

Acorns. And scurrying.

The Falling Thoughts

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heretherebespiders

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My mind poops here

emmakwall (explains it all)

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