Raise A Glass to Dave
(1) She is totally queer so it wasn’t that kind of date.
I was taking a leap and met Mammoth, a triber, at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. A first ‘online to real world’ dealio for both of us. We busted each other’s cherries. w00t!!
But, in the last few weeks she had been beaten up a bit by a breakup with her girlfriend and got canned by some bullshit non-profit. Jobless, her broke ass was in dire need of a beer or three, so I volunteered to be her buzz buddy. Anyways, after meeting her outside with that nervous little dissonance in both our heads, putting the body with the face for the first time, I noticed the place was packed to the gills; a loud band playing on a Sunday afternoon? Folks in their forties and above all over the place?
(2) We crash a wake.
Yes, it was a wake for a musician who had played the Plough many times. I wonder”How the hell are we gonna chat and get comfy in the middle of all this?’ We steal a couple of stools from the slow and drunk and proceed to make small talk. After we both settle in a little bit (Thank you, Guinness mothership!) we both realize the wake is the sweetest thing in the world. All his buddies were taking turns on stage playing, ‘doing it up’ to his memory. There were tamales and catered food a plenty.
During it all, one whole wall was taken up by a slide show of the man’s life, from the cradle to every band and friend he ever had: pictures of him in the fifties in a little cowboy hat with his big brother; pictures of him pretending to be the Kinks in high school. Pictures of him in spandex and a mullet; pictures of him just grinning from ear to ear with damn near everybody there in the room.
And there was a rack with shirts: they were giving away all the man’s shirts, a little piece of him and all the memories that went with them to whoever wanted one, to whoever wanted a piece of the man.
I look around the room when Mammoth hits the head…
I take in all the memories on the wall,
his favorite bagged out t-shirts on the rack,
every raised glass and smiling face,
all the overflowing love in the room…
It just kicks me in the heart.
My queer date comes back to a guy in a biker jacket with tears rolling down his face.
Here’s to Dave Carpender.
Raise a glass.
Note: I find out later that Dave was a member of the Greg Kihn Band from 1976-83. Here is a page from Greg’s site on the man and his life.