21 Apr 2015

One year staggered stopgap for Luc papa bro Forget

Haven't remembered enough. Haven't felt grief enough. Need to plumb further. Ah. Luc was going to be a plumber. Or a pipe-fitter. Or a geo-thermal technician. He even studied goddamn algebra toward that end. He said, to a friend, on having moved to Victoria: "One day you'll see my name in lights."

Audio records. A lazy day with Luc and Fidel. Nothing much happens. So retrospectively sweet.

"Doe, a dear..." fading into room ambiance, AC hiss and spring sounds. The spaces and silence, and mellow Luc in papa mode, gently tempering the Fidel. So much happens in a lazy afternoon, with the novelty of Luc and his little son over at my place on Creek Street, such a funny confluence, Uncle Jonathan sleeping in the bedroom - putting Ratatouille, the movie Fidel wants to watch, on what must seem forever hold in kid-time. We did watch it later though, I remember. And Luc cried, moved by how beautiful a movie it was, respectful to food, and animals, and children, and all these other things he came up with, and I just howled with delight at the scene where the adolescent dishwasher masquerading as genius chef gets his first ever wine-buzz.

Around then, Luc would sleep under my bed sometimes, the high one, making a makeshift lower bunk on the floor out of my extra blankets and quilts - because the alternative was living out of his car. He was tough, he could endure a lot, but he didn't have to, I saw to that as much as I could, because he trusted me in a pure and perfect way. Maybe that's how the bond cemented, but there's so much more, don't know if I'll ever know where to begin. He gave me the gift of feeling useful, and able to comfort someone in need. It was a pleasure. So unique, when I'm in that role. I would play Aphex Twin ambient tracks at night to sooth us to sleep, or sometimes we would listen to the chill stream he introduced me to, soma. While we talked deep and shallow and every place in between. But the silliness was the best, because it was the most like music, when words played hard and dissolved into melodies and box beats.

Yes, it was a bromance. We had some cuddles, the only guy I could ever do that with, one of my fondest memories, on the porch of the edgewood house when it was Rhi's, after a blissful day with debauched serrations, booze and barbecue, cider and potluck, kids and family that's not family, when you can feel a bit looser but still close, and that was the afternoon we wrote "Trumpet Borus" together, about his boy. And then stumbled down from Gyro that night, and ended up sleeping on the porch together.

Step-mom Lata was going to put him in her will. But he died first. So many Forgets and Thibaults were dying around then, Luc said his people were dropping like flies. That's how I met Luc, not the very first time, but the origin of our true meeting, in that we shared the intensity that would become the norm, when he came over to my place, after his uncle "dragged himself into his cabin and blew his head off." Because I asked Luc how he did it, his favourite uncle who used to smoke hash with young Luc while they worked on muscle cars. I don't know how much of this information is necessary to whatever this is, but I'm going to spend a little time swaying to and fro on whatever twig I end up on. And we dealt with it somehow. Drink and song - back in those days, the drink wasn't necessarily totally evil. I nudged him into blowing off work that morning, I had to coach him through the phonecall, not to cave to his boss and "suck it up".

Later on, an uncle on his mother's side. It was a crazy day for Luc, lots of resonance I never recognized, still don't. Luc was on a trip. I don't know how much was real, but I'd never heard him rant like that before. This strange fractured picture of organized crime. Deep pain mixed up in paranoid metaphors that could have been true, I don't know. I was distracted by the black paint Luc squirted out of a tube into my eye after draining a bottle of whisky on the picnic table at Taghum beach, around 4pm. I don't know what that was about, but it's gone down as legend, how Rose had to drive over to pick us up. 

Then Luc's dad with the brain aneurysm. But at least he got to meet his grandson, the one time, when we went to the family reunion in Grand Prairie and took pictures together in classic cars.

Still, Luc could be light and joyful like no one else I've known, and at least graze against the state that I dunno if I've ever reached, and reflect it back at me, so I could enjoy it through a bit of osmosis. He had a big window inside him, he could let a lot of light through. But I loved the frame even moreso. I loved how he framed everything. The goofy guy, the gentle man, baring wounds quietly, was it a rail-trip to death for him? I don't think so, accidents happen, they're cruel if there's any morality to it, and infuriatingly, there isn't, that's what I'm left with.

It's still too big for me to take on, the issue of a friend like that, like no one else, having died. It's sinking in over what are now multiple years, how there's never gonna be another person that will make me feel like he did, just being in his company. I'm still far from rising to the occasion and typing a fitting tribute, much less making a song out of it. That would take a kind of heroism I don't have. I don't know what that says, just that it's too huge for me, it's blinding. Somehow, unconsciously, I ignore the enormity of it, and go about like it's on some other plane, to an irrelevant degree. Can't make it relevant, can only feel it as cryptic mystic transcendental loss... and write a bromantic pamphlet in response.

There's so many sides to a person, I know so many people had their own angles on Luc. Of course I treasure my own vantage on the man, even knowing how different it was from others', how I knew him in what he ambivalently called "the bad ol' days", often down and out, both of us taking solace in a perfect blend of music, intoxicants, and sketchy edges.

Nowhere close to knowing what I can say about his death yet, if I'll ever be. But Rose is good about stuff like that. Grateful me and Luc had some amazing mutual friends with hyperkinetic expressive abilities that figure in to my remembrances these days. There are obvious implications for all of us. There's morbid curiosity I'm not expecting to be satisfied. Like in that letter he wrote to me near the end, in pretty good penmanship, but that ambiguous mark, was that a lower case h, for heroin? I'm not sure if he ever went there, and what does it matter, but some of it does matter to a dark part of me that turns to blinding deadlight like a sick plant pining for an alien homeworld.

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