Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Memorial Brunch For Karma
Is everyone here? Wonderful.
Today we have come together to share warm casseroles and finger sandwiches for our departed friend, Karma. Some of you, like me, knew Karma personally. Some of you are here because you came with a friend who knew Karma, and felt like it was important to be supportive. I’m glad you could be with us, all of you. If Karma were still with us, he would be the first to say how pleased he is that we could enjoy artichoke dip and toast points together.
I met Karma back in the 80’s, in a ceramics class. I was baking ashtrays and mugs, all of which I painted while high on marijuana and No-Doz. Karma was experimenting with figurines that could be decorated with tiny Christmas tree lights and plugged in to any electrical outlet. We put our heads together and made bongs that looked like fruity cocktails and set them alight with trannie weed and the occasional ball of dark hash. We adorned our creations with fiber optic wands, purchased from a kiosk at the local mall.
Karma loved to travel. One time we went to Myrtle Beach. He had the worst luggage I have ever seen – it was a tuba case held together with kite string and bumper stickers. Not cool bumper stickers – he used the kind that most people find stacked on card tables at job fairs and visitor information centers dotting I-94. He could have easily purchased something less hobo and more Samsonite, but that is how he rolled. I will say this: He never had a moment’s hell finding his luggage at baggage terminals. His choices were sometimes aggravating and embarrassing, but there was something comforting and familiar about the piece of crap he dragged through Heathrow, Newark, O’Hare and LAX.
Karma was my friend, my manager and my editor. Probably the most passive-aggressive person I’ll ever meet. I just gotta chuckle – I’m sorry. I just need a moment. Oh, he cut me up. I see you’re laughing, too, huh? Too much fun!
Karma said to me, “You know I think it’s terrific that you enjoy blogging. It’s not like you ever expected people to take you seriously or anything.” Owie! Then he said, “You know I love you and I love reading your stuff. And I am glad that you have it. You’re not all like, ‘Oh, I should see where this shit can go.’ For as long as you want to tend to your writing like a Beanie Bag collection, I’m with you, because you are my most super-major friend.” Only good friends (but mostly family) can speak to us that way.
Friends, it’s not like Karma is really dead, at least not to me. I’m not feeling it. I’d like to believe he is still out there, minding our manners and encouraging us to be better people. Or maybe he is really in Africa with Jim Morrison. I’d go looking for him, but I know he would find us all eventually, if he could.
I spoke with Experimental Philosophy yesterday, and he’s still in the hospital. Experimental Philosophy was with Karma when the bus jumped the curb. I don’t believe for one minute that Philosophy threw Karma under that bus, as some have speculated, and I am sure there is a very good reason why things look that way. Right now, I really can’t say. Karma and Philosophy were going to a baseball game. Fate or free will, whatever you want to call it, arrived as a bus and that is that.
Let us raise our glasses and drink our wine, not because Karma would have wanted us to. Do it because the wine is delicious and has a pleasant finish. If you do not drink wine, please enjoy another beverage of your choice. Or not. You decide. I just want to say again that it’s very good wine and thank you for coming today.
Please – by all means – dig in.