She’s baaacckkk…

Me and Comcast been having an ugly little set-to. I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say the people who work there are as stupid as mud. They only asked me 136 times (over as many phone calls) if I had tried resetting the modem before they would believe me that it was kaput and it took them four visits to concede a new modem to replace the crummy 5 year old one that I "rent" for 3.95/month.

I let my service provider
Make a junky outta me
And then he cut me off
From my online community
And now I hate, I hate it
I hate I hate I hate I hate
I hate my frickin ISP
            Todd Lundgren

So, while I was away I got an e-mail from Bonnie :

"It is unlike you to be off the net for 4 days.  Did you go to Florida with Abby?  Did a client rip your lungs out?  Shit-piss-bitch-crap I miss you and your brilliant writing.  Please come back."

And another from Hoss :

Dearest Vicki,
I hope you are surviving the departure of Abby and Ed’s passing. What a difficult time! I know Rich is a great comfort to you. I have you in my thoughts and prayers and can’t wait to have you back in the blogosphere. That sounded a little less cold than "Girlfriend–update your blog!", oui?
God’s Peace,

Or maybe it was the other way around… Thanks for the kind notes, youse. And you others, too.
Things to do besides post entries:

Say goodbye to a friend. We had a glorious sunny day to gather and bid Ed farewell.
Friendships spanning 35 years and students in their twenties, all with a story or funny memory to share. People brought their few favorite photos- many of them self portraits that Ed took of himself. This was the last; he took it on a friend’s phone at the Elvis Impersonation Festival a couple weeks before he died.Picture017 Because there was no family to speak of and no funeral it was hard to figure exactly how to bid him adieu. Born into a strong Hungarian Catholicism, Ed strayed for good when the family priest refused to say mass for his brother, who died of AIDS. And yet.  Ed maintained a stellar and infamous “Jesus collection” on his mantle of religious icons, fancy rosaries, a Big Boy doll wearing a crown of thorns and mass cards.  He especially liked mass cards; whenever there was a funeral he would admonish everyone to make sure they “collected the whole set.” During his last year he was amused that I was wandering about, in search of a church for my faith and we had enough discussions for me to know that he still had some faith and a little hope along with the bitterness.

And so. We made him a mass card. On the back, for want of a psalm, it read: Masscard

Born April 21, 1954
Died the first week of August, 2005

Music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you
    Are the music
While the music lasts

Dedicated son, loving brother,
Funny, kind and gentle friend-
You will be remembered

Fitting for a man who owned little but had a turntable that turned suspended on a cushion of air, still used a tube amp and died with a collection of vinyl numbering well into the thousands. Before Barnes and Noble had such a system, you could go to Ed’s and request ANY piece of music, any genre, and he would play it for you- but only if you sat in the chair correctly positioned between his incredible speakers.

And then. We cracked a bottle of 21 year old Balvenie and drank a toast to a consistently funny and rarely charmed but always charming man who cared much more for others than he did himself.

Love your husband. Cry and let him hold you. Talk into the wee hours about past relationships: which ones were meaningful and why and the couple that would just as well been a pass. Agree that this one, here and now, is the best and strongest and most passionate for reasons we never could have imagined at 20 or 30 or maybe even 40. Marvel that the heart is big enough to hold so much without jealousy. Have another sip of Balvenie. Say thank you. Sleep soundly.

Wonder, yet again, what possessed me to think I needed more than one 1.49 six pack of tomatoes in the garden. (Variety! Tis the spice of life!). As usual, I have what Dan once called (I was already at this when he was four) an “overflow plob-bloom” It’s hard to keep up with the daily pickings, even though I’m only getting a proportionally small share. The woodchucks are tithing and to ensure that they don’t part with nary a seed more than one in ten they have dug their burrow right in the middle of the garden. It is with great fear and trepidation that I go to pluck a ripe tomato because, invisible under all the vines, there is rustling and aggravated grunting. It sounds like a scene from one of those grade B horror films; it could aptly be named “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

Sophie occasionally likes to be in the center of my focus. Here she is getting ready to help me with the canning.Canning_season

13 responses to “She’s baaacckkk…

  1. Oh, My God! Sophie is nearly the spitting image of my Storm! I took a photo of her yesterday and it is the best one I have ever gotten of a black cat. I will post it sometime this week, and you will not believe how much alike they are – right down to the little white patch on the chest.

  2. Oh, and welcome back!! I nearly sent the state patrol out to look for you!

  3. Your Ed stories are so wonderful. I wish I had known him in person.

    I didn’t even have time to miss you, what with my own busy weekend, but I’m glad you’re back in business anyway. The Bonnie/Hoss thing was funny.

  4. OK. Now I’m crying. Such a wonderful tribute to someone you loved. I just finished foraging in the “echo” room and found pictures of a couple friends no longer with us. Then I read this.

    Sooooo glad you are back. I think everyone was beginning to worry. We missed you.

    And gorgeous tomatoes!

  5. Your writing in combination with the photo of Ed made me very emotional.

    Somone I knew died this week. I didn’t know him well but I worked with his girlfriend (my boss actually). He was in his 40s and died of cancer.

    I am asking “Why?”

  6. Baaacckkk…and not a moment too soon! I must remember not to send emails after one of Bruce’s martinis. That Hoss is a lovely man, isn’t he?

    Anyone with a turntable, speaker set-up, and vinyl library like Ed’s deserves a special place in Heaven, as those non-Lutherans would say. I’m sorry for your deep loss, Vicki!

    Yay for tender-hearted husbands, beautiful cats, and the finest-looking tomatoes I’ve ever seen!

    Look out for Vicki, Mr. Woodchuck! You’ll be taxidermic wall art before you can chuck wood. You CAN chuck wood, oui?

  7. Yeah!!! You’re back! And this may put me in the category of “stupid as mud” along with Comcast, but why can’t I read all of your blogs??? I only get so far before everything is all cut off…… Can you help me? Thank you kindly.

  8. Sooo glad to have you back, and love the colors of your blog!!!

  9. I love gray cats and fresh tomatoes from the garden. We are just starting to get a bunch now. It has been a very nice summer, but not horrendously hot. Your tribute to your friend Ed was very moving. You have the talent of bringing the person to life through your words.

  10. I’m sorry to read about Ed. Good to know he’s in a better place now.

  11. (I sure wish Bonnie would come over and cuss on my blog. Just for the experience.)

    Aw, Vicki. Ed’s passing must have been rough. I hate, hate, hate that he died alone.

    As always, many blessings to you. And please don’t knock me off your blogroll. It’s like a glowing reference or being picked to be on the most badass softball team.

    And besides, you need Jack Russell Terrier representation on that list. One day the JRT will rule the planet and you best be sure to be in their good graces.

  12. Friday Ark #49

    Cats, Dogs, Spiders and ? every Friday. We’ll post links to sites that have Friday (plus or minus a few days) photos of their chosen animals (photoshops at our discretion and humans only in supporting roles). Watch the Exception category for rocks, bee…

  13. I loved this post. Ed was so lucky to have had you in his life. I also hate that he died alone.

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