Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Remembering ...

Tomorrow will be four years since he died. (So reads his obituary.) But many of us remember today.

Four years.

I still think about L.A. Dave daily, if sometimes passively. Through his death, I have become friends with many people I would have otherwise not known. Oh, how they enrich my life. Smart and funny and artistic and compassionate people, all of whom were drawn to Dave, some by fortuitousness and some by fate.

Dave was quite a draw.

So much has transpired in these four years. Dave lived to see President Obama's first inauguration. He would have been overjoyed to see the second. The election of our president fueled him with pride and possibility.

If only he'd had more time.

The other day, I was feeling unsettled, and thought through what might be the reasons why and realized that the anniversary of Dave's death was drawing near. The unconscious is a fascinating place, remembering even when our conscious minds have yet to catch up.

I think of him when I make pudding. I don't make pudding often, but when I did, I would call him and we would chat because I couldn't do anything else while standing at the stove, stirring. Dave always hoped I was making chocolate.

I think of him when I want a milkshake. I don't drink milkshakes often, but when I do, I think about a particularly bad day I'd had and Dave prescribing a milkshake. Likewise with the pudding, he suggested chocolate.

I think of him when I bake brownies. Dave loved brownies, though he preferred them without walnuts. It was one of the few things we didn't have in common.

I think of him when I see my neighbor's W flag during baseball season. Dave was the most rabid Cubs fan I've ever known. He would add a W or an L to his blog on game days.

I think of him when I try to decide what movie to watch. Dave was an encyclopedia of knowledge about, well, about everything, but he was very quick to recommend films, usually obscure films or early films, that featured an actor he knew I loved. Before I quit Netflix, I made a printout of my queue. I'm sure at least half of what I hadn't gotten around to watching yet were films suggested to me by Dave.

After the holidays, I sorted through a box of cards I'd been stashing, year after year. I ran across many from Dave. I wish I'd dated them. And somewhere, I have the card that he sent to me that contained a ticket to see Paul McCartney. I had given my pair to a friend who is a much bigger fan and who was shut out of the sale but Dave wanted to make sure that I was able to go, too. As fate would have it, my new seat was in the same section as the seats I'd purchased, though I was several rows closer to the stage.

It's strange to contemplate that I haven't spoken to him in four years, that four years have passed by without hearing "Hi, Beth, it's Dave!" in the way he'd always say.

I wish I'd made more time for him. I wish I'd traveled out to L.A. at least once to join him for his birthday instead of only seeing him when I was there for work.

But I'm glad we had dinner the last time I was out there. I'm glad that we, unwittingly, chose a restaurant with a dessert menu that offered chocolate cake. I'm glad that when I said goodbye to him at the subway, he said, "I love you" and that I said, "I love you, too."

Tell someone you love them today. Don't wait. And if you happen to see it, have some chocolate cake. And a glass of milk.

For Dave.

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