When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Thursday, August 23, 2007

There's A Little Black Spot On The Sun Today ...

I did my best! I did my best! Yay, Dane Cook--etching himself forever in the minds of millions whenever they're ready for a good cry. Well, Dane and a bunch of others are crowding around right now, waiting for me to let one go.

I was doing well, really, but the closer I get to my 76-hour work week (starts on Monday) and the more I think about Mike Wieringo's death, the more I feel like having a little meltdown. In less than two months, I'll lose the glamour of being "The Answer To Life, The Universe, and Everything." In other words, I'll be 43. Is there a sexy way to present the number 43? Can I pretend that 43 is the new 23? The new 33?

Mike Wieringo was to me what I might be to some of you. I never met him, but I read his blog. He was a great artist who took comments to his blog and responded at times--but he'd get like 40+ responses at times. He also posted the sketches he would make at the start of his day, which he used to get his juices flowing so he could accomplish his page goals for that day. But he took the time to blog his thoughts as well. Sometimes he would talk about his brother. Sometimes he would talk about his dog or his car. Or an animal he rescued in the road. But sometimes he would talk about how much time he spent at the drawing table, as opposed to out to dinner on a date. He didn't go on and on, like I do, but it might be one little sentence fragment, or a few inserts in a verbal interview. I just felt so much like him--a creator in our 40's, alone in our rooms--talking to the world, but not really a part of it.

That's why I go out to the #1 Train for no reason. I sometimes have to literally pick myself up by the scruff of the neck and thrust myself out of the house. I go, sit on the train, and watch people as I travel downtown. I felt like I had a major breakthru when I spoke to the acquaintance the one time, and the old guy the other week. But then I go up to the steps of the Karaoke bar ... and I freeze. There's a wall there that no one but me and Mike Wieringo can see.

I don't want to die in a year, a month, and two weeks, alone at home, never having done these things. I want Mike Wieringo to come back and have the chance to break out of these self-imposed walls, and then tell me how he did it. Or I want to be able to write him a letter and tell him some of the things I do to get out of the house. I cared for his struggle. It was mine.

I didn't mean to claim high drama and relapse back into the moan-and-groan, but the one line keeps going through my mind as I imagine Mike Wieringo's death and the fears his absence conjures up inside of me right now. Then when I looked up the lyrics that follow the one line, I couldn't help but admit that they apply.
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Well, this just in ... one of the quality people on the planet just swung by and gave of themselves to help me out. It wasn't money. It was time. And concern. And encouragement. And insight. I'm not quite as lonely anymore. Nor as scared.

Heroes exist for a reason.

So that's alright then.

Rest In Peace, Mike Wieringo. Your struggle is over, and while you were here, you enhanced the lives of millions much the way flowers and rainbows do. You gave our world a little bit more color.

7 comments:

GrizzBabe said...

That's one of my favorite Police songs. Too bad that couldn't stick together.

Glad someone reached out to you today.

Alan said...

I was glad too. You guys are phenomenal for caring.

S* said...

No meltdowns allowed. Unless it's just a tiny little self indulgent meltdown that can be fixed with chocolate.

When you feel ready to meltdown, take a deep breath and "scream" on your blog. Then go take a walk. The city is chockfull of not only distractions, but things to make you appreciate your life.

Alan said...

:)

GrizzBabe said...

I came back to watch the video.

Isn't Stewart Copeland one of the best drummers of our time?

I hope you've had a good day today.

Shesawriter said...

You're a Police fan? Now I know you're all right with me! :-)

Alan said...

Oh yes, I'm an unabashed Police fan. Sting's effortless high tenor and the band's ability to rock the synchopation carries their music through every era.

The Police are touring again, Grizz! Google it--they made whatever amends that needed to be made.

I am still a Sting fan. Whatever he produces just sounds like what The Police would be making if they had never broke up.