Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ride, Sally, Ride

I was feeling mostly happy, but also a little sad, when I got home from a wedding last Thursday night. Happy for the bride, a wonderful colleague of mine, and her husband, but sad for myself, as I couldn't help but be reminded that, in early June 2013, Laura and I were engaged and working out plans for a September wedding.

Then I browsed through Facebook, and even that sorrow was put out of my mind. I discovered that a friend and former colleague, Sally, had passed away on Wednesday, a week ago today, and it just stunned me. I went to bed without having fully processed it, and I'm not sure I've fully processed it yet. It hurts, though, this first irrevocable loss of someone I considered a friend.




To be sure, Sally wasn't one of my closest friends, emotionally or physically; she'd moved from New Jersey to Wichita, Kansas, two years ago, and then to California in 2014. The last time I saw her was in the spring of 2011, at a party she and Matt threw at the house in Oceanport, a party where she urged people to bring musical instruments. I obliged by bringing my acoustic/electric guitar, and while the jam session she might've hoped for didn't really happen, we all had a great time nonetheless. We'd mentioned me visiting Cali, and her staying with me when she finalized selling the house down the shore, but that party was the last time we got together, and at least it's a happy and a fun memory.

Sally didn't stay at Microwize Technology (or any job, really, in the time that I knew her) for too very long, but we got along well and spent time together even after she'd moved on. From wandering a few hours in the Village and getting drinks at Teak in Hoboken afterwards, to sushi and drinks while watching my friend Martin Rivas perform at Sawa in Long Branch, to dinner and drinks in NYC, to drinks at the City Lounge right here in Lyndhurst after work one evening, to doing a shot of rum together in my apartment... come to think of it, we consumed a lot of alcohol in each other's company. Heh-heh. I saw the Indigo Girls, Tori Amos, the Police (on Halloween!), and Bruce Springsteen with silly Sally, too. She goosed me once while we posed for a picture together. She and Matt attended my 40th birthday party and brought pizza. She cried on my shoulder while talking about difficulties she was going through, and I did my best to console her. She laughed and laughed when I answered the phone, "Hello, and welcome to Moviefone!" in my announcer voice. She congratulated me on getting engaged, and offered to return the huge plastic "diamond" I'd found somewhere and jokingly given her way back when (in 2007); she told me last year that she'd come across it again while packing for CA. She brought a smile to my face, though she never convinced me, every time she started a conversation with me with, "Hey, handsome..." She drove some of her other friends and me a bit nuts when she became fixated on Amy Winehouse's "Rehab," but she made us laugh, too.

I'm rambling a bit. My point is, I miss Sally terribly. We may not have been the closest of friends, nor kept in touch too regularly, but we were friends. I laughed with her, I worried about her, I enjoyed spending time and talking with her, and suddenly I never can again, and I'm struggling to accept the loss and the hurt. It feels like a bit of (what's left of) my heart has gone numb.

I love you, Sally. I hope you knew that.



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