djsaylor at SPAMprimenet.com
Sun Dec 12 12:33:48 MST 1999
My friend, Roger, committed suicide on Friday. I wanted to write
something about him someplace. He lived in Canada. I live in the U.S. He
was a blind man. He was working class.
A few days ago we talked to him. We knew he was feeling pretty down.
So we told him, my wife and I that we loved him. We wanted him around. He
Besides his job with the phone company, he would do some singing on the
side. One of my good memories is him, being much younger than me, teaching
me how to sing "I love Lucy". I grew up hearing that tune. Amazing how an
old tv show can have meaning just because it was in my youth. Roger was
young enough to be my son.
Roger was angry about things. Get this, once on the job, his boss who
was harassing him to get him to quit, well Roger punched him. Oh the joy of
that image, a blind man daring to punch a sighted guy who was out to get
him. They couldn't fire him, because it was so fucking ambiguous being
punched by a blind guy. Anyway, I always thought was cool Roger. They
forced him out anyway. He was out of work two years, and fought back into a
job which he was still doing when he died.
On Thursday (the day before he died) he sang with his friend, Jane. She
is a quadraplegic. She was famous of sorts as a folk singer years ago, but
kept getting paralytic attacks that would impede her career. So I am
thinking about the last thing he did was sing with Jane when she was making
yet another attempt at a comeback though severely disabled now. Sometimes
Jane would treat Roger a little distantly, but Roger stuck it out with her.
Anyway his last thing was to sing with her. Her life has been pretty hard,
and so was his.
He was a good friend. He was a disabled working class guy that got the
shit end of the stick, but had the heart and soul of an artist. He can't
hear this, but today I'm going to sing "I love Lucy" in his honor at an
Irish bar a few blocks from here. Then I will drink a toast to the working
class, to all the injustices that need righting, and to a process of all of
us rebuilding the movement. For all people.
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