Friday, July 14, 2006


Lately,I've been hearing in my head a song from a defunct Bakersfield band that I was a fan of named CASSANOVA FRANKESTEIN that could describe my state of mind as I grow older: "All My Friends Are Dead."

The song itself used death as a metaphor to a certain extent, but in the last year or so it seems to describe my friends by using death a bit more literally. I have been to more funerals in the last nine months than I have in my entire life. Jimmy Sleeves was the first one to go that I remember having a big impact on a large group of people, after that it was Peter Will, Joe"The Game" Ramos, C.B.,Carlos Ortiz and now David Fuentes. These are just to name a few.

I lost my father at 19 so I feel aquainted with the black hole caused by losing someone close to you permenantly. I know intrinsically why my friends' mom cries because he's in a coffin and not sitting next to her. All of us can imagine what that would feel like, but unless you've sat front row at a funeral, you're only imagining the half you can comprehend.

Death feeds philosophy; the dissection of existence needs the reflection of its finality to put our being into context: we're here now. Death is the main connection we have with the rest of the living world(s). It is a constant; the lowest common denominator that puts us equal to an ant, a rhino, a planet or a star.

Maturity doesn't necessarily come with age, the inevitability of change does. I've often wondered (as I'm sure we all have) who would be at my funeral? Would there be a full house? How would I be remembered? Why have a funeral at all? I'd rather opt to skip my memorial service and go straight to the wake. My two songs I would want to be played in my memory would be "Don't You Forget About Me" and "What A Wonderful World" because those two songs would carry two main messages: What I leave behind and where I'm going back to. Screw coffins and caskets, cremation is the way to go. Also, a tombstone seems archaic; An engraved park bench next to a tree with a chess/checkerboard on the top of the table would be a more appropriate way I'd like to be remembered.

I'll admit I've had these thoughts. They are completely egocentrical, self absorbed and selfish because death is really the only thing that is truly our own. We need help being born, but not to die (although some people are more than willing to help speed up the process). A loss of words is commonplace when trying to put into perspective a loss of another kind.

As I told my friend Marc DeLeon who not only helped write and perform the song I mentioned at the beginning of this letter but who also stood by his friend's side from the beginning to the end: Rest in Peace David, and to everyone else- rest well.

The path my temporarily departed friends have crossed is something we will all have to travel in our lifetime. They left behind very big shoes to fill; that will only make it easier to follow their footprints.

"Crossing that bridge with lessons I've learned,
Playing with fire and not getting burned.
I may not know what you're going through,
but time is the space between me and you.
Life carries On.
It goes on."
SEAL "Prayer For The Dying"