This is the first April 15th since 1978 without Jody in it.
Today is Jody's birthday. It's also tax day in the US. I suppose that's one way to get your friends to remember it. Even ones in other countries, like me (our tax day is April 30, as it happens). I suppose I should look back in my logs and see what we were talking about today last year. If he was on. Jody was pretty sick those last few months and wasn't on for days at a time. But it was often that way the first time, so I guess I wasn't seeing it for what it was. I guess he was, but he rarely let that show through. I guess the death of hope in me would have been the death of hope in him. Or something like that.
Tuesday, a little package arrived from Jody's dad, Jim. He saw The Corporation, a three-part documentary on corporate culture, and he wanted me to see it so he sent it on CD. He also sent a card for my birthday. It had two little bugs sitting side by side on a swing hanging from a flower; it said "Friends Forever". It just overwhelmed me for a couple of minutes. Everything came flooding over the dam. My love for Jody and how much I miss him and how shitty it all is that he went through what he went through for nothing, how we've lost him, how much I've come to love his dad, and this gesture of remembering my birthday five days before the birthday of the son he lost. And the bug motif, harkening back to Flea... I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I bet it was. I put the card on Jody's cedar chest on my mantle. I don't know if I'll ever take it down.
Today I'll go to Wal-mart and buy a couple of copies of the new book, Terry, about the life of Terry Fox. I'll keep one for myself and send the other to Jim. It will probably be a hard read for him, but it seems appropriate. And it has to be today, Jody's birthday. I remember telling Jody about Terry back when Jody was in remission, in the summer of 2003. That's getting on for two years ago now. I guess at the time we spoke about it, Jody actually had less than a year to live, though neither of us could possibly have imagined that at the time. I remember being a little wary of talking about it because, after all, Terry's cancer came back and killed him. I know it's just a coincidence, and that it happened because it was going to happen. But it sure seems bitter now that we talked about it.
I was going to get a new vacuum, what with my raise and all, but it turns out to be about $100 a month, effectively. Big deal. I guess it's better than treading water, but I did so much this year. Travelled, took on a whole new job, ramped up to new products, new applications, new people, got a 2 rating... and I got less of a raise this year than last. I still got the same line I got from "Devil Face" three or four years ago. "We know you're not even making the median salary for your job in your market... we're working on it." Yeah, for five years. I'm probably making the median salary NOW for the job back THEN, anyway. So, no new vacuum. Between the books and the $60 Larry asked to borrow from me, that's my fucking raise for the month, right there.
We were out last night, me and Larry and P-Doug and G, at Swiss Chalet down Don Mills. It was nice. P-Doug wants to do the beer thing tonight, but I'm 215 lbs. Like, Christ, it's time to put the brakes on and really mean it. So I'm going to say no. Maybe we can go somewhere for coffee, but the beer thing's got to get more infrequent. I am going to get down to 200, and I am going to go back to Harvey's this summer. That's all there is to it. The fancy restaurants and cut corners are out. My pants are still comfortable, but only just. I'm bulgy, though. I'm not going to take the deliberate step of buying bigger pants. That's just hopping on the slippery slope. It's barefoot weather again, and I want to feel good about being out in the sun with some skin showing. There are shorts I want to wear I can't, and I need to get back to the 180s. No more goofy shit about being happy with the 190s. The 180s.
As God is my witness, I'll ever be hungry again. :)
God bless you, Jody. I'm going to be your "sex beast" again. At least, inasmuch as I ever was.