“Your skin, oh yeah your skin and bones, turn in to something beautiful.” — Coldplay

No one will ever care about this span of my writing here like Carter did. He was my ideal reader, editor, confidante; companion for this stretch of dusty trail, naive but willing recipient of every joke and allusion and overloaded sack of metaphoral falderall I could dream up. The Wittgenstein to my Diogenes, and the counterbalance to all my worst instincts. He found me, improbably, in the depths of my long darkness, and wanted to pace me through it; even when it seemed endless; even when it was just Alms for Oblivion.

Here to walk each other home.

Do you know; you know I love you so much.


“… And now you are free. That was the river, this is the sea, hoo yeah.” – The Waterboys

My best friend is gone, and it is the saddest relief. Stage four cancer is a motherfucker, and I wouldn’t let anyone tell you different. I have dreaded today since he first told me the news… years ago, now? How could it possibly have been years? And as I watched the sun make that first shimmer through late summer leaves, and realized that this is my first day on earth without him also here, and that all the rest of my days, however many that might be, will also be this. Well.

It’s a good thing I still have a blog. And that I learned how to play guitar and sing a little better. And that I had a friend like him to help drag my broken life out of that abandoned, flooded, infested quarry and put it back on this upwards, such better path. Of course, correction.

I went out and opened the door and windows of my long-embargoed studio just now; for him. We spent how many hours on the phone there — not dozens; surely hundreds. Hours when I, supposedly, “should” have been working, instead; and I now regret exactly zero of them. We spent an entire week there, ridiculously hot for June, closed up in the blasting AC, savoring each others’ company like kids at their first ever sleepover. Best week of making things of my life thus far, and if I were ever to get a second one that’s even close, I will count my self as luckier than the luckiest.

For having known him, and him finding me in the midst of my darkness and still — still! — wanting to be my friend. I am luckier than the luckiest.

“The miles were good but the milage just turned my hair grey. Met some people, who knew me and called me friend. No sense in wanting my life to live over; I’d find different ways to make the same mistakes again. And I’d probably make ‘em; I’d make ‘em all again.”

— Whiskeytown