arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Janey and the Harry Lime



I cannot sugar coat this: it has been a very stressful summer.  Frustrations boiled over this past week and Warrior Queen felt it necessary to vent about all of my medical experiences.  I vented back because I have been in excruciating back pain for a few weeks now. We also received very bad news, or rather very bad news confirmed the night before we vented.
  
Cut to the chase: my oldest, dearest friend Janey (Goddess of Springtime) did pass away in June.  I had left several messages for him on his cellphone and none were returned.  I feared the worst, but had no idea how to go about getting more information.  The usual route — an obituary and paid advertisement known as the death notice — never appeared in the morning papers.  Janey had prepared us for this: he would not have a notice published, but rather had arranged to have a close relative call his family and friends.  Only the call never came and we were left to wonder for several months what happened to him.

I mentioned this in my post dated 7/9/17, July Blahs.  We knew he had a terminal condition and, God bless him, Janey prepared us for the inevitable.  So his passing wasn’t totally unexpected, but still a shock that it had happened, and we were in the dark for over two months.

The days since have been marked with many memories welling up for me to ponder.  Such as the first time he met Warrior Queen.  If memory serves me correctly, she met Janey the day after she met her future in-laws. It happened at a restaurant long gone in Skippack PA to celebrate his birthday during a long Thanksgiving weekend.  They were total strangers when the long evening of drinks and food began.  By the end, they felt like two long lost siblings who reunited after many years.

Or that summer Janey and I co-stage managed a production of South Pacific at Bloomsburg University.   We somehow managed to alternate between supporting each other and resisting the urge to not kill each other before the production was over.  Don’t get me wrong: stage management of a show is a great opportunity to grow…but, let’s face it, it can also be a grand bitch!  Trust me on this.

Or another night in Bloomsburg when we invented the Harry Lime.  We were celebrating the birth of one of his nieces and felt the need to do something special.  Funds were limited, but there was a bottle of gin (Bombay, I believe) in the house.  Together we concocted this recipe:

  • 1 oz Gin (premium and, as Spo would say, no rubbish), chilled

  • Three drops of lime juice:

  • One drop for the doctor;

  • One drop for the count;

  • One drop for…The Third Man

So we, or rather I, named it after the character in The Third Man, Harry Lime.   It was a hardy recipe that evening, guaranteed to produce a dry cough as it slid down your throat.   For some reason, we did not do many Harry Lime shots in recent years.  I’ll do one soon in Janey’s memory when we have lime juice in the house again. 

Then there was the time he walked out of graduate school (rather huffily in his retelling of the story) and went west and landed in West Hollywood.  It was there he met and lost a man named Rusty, who I believe was the true love of Janey’s life.   His love would succumb to AIDS, and somehow Janey found the strength to carry on and return east to finish his graduate work. 
 
Thereafter he found work as a speech communications professor at several local community colleges. Janey was forced to retire on a medical disability a few years ago, a combination of a genetic respiratory condition inherited from his mother’s side and the community college‘s inability to provide a mold-free environment not conducive to anyone with a respiratory ailment.

Warrior Queen and I have many memories of our time with Janey.  For now, we’ll recover from our physical issues and lick our emotional wounds.  Then we’ll continue the fight Janey fought for so many years: equality and, with apologies for resorting to clichés here, justice for all.

(Thank you for reading.  Rest in Peace, dear friend.  The Resistance will live on!)

5 Comments:

Blogger Raybeard said...

Very poignant posting, RTG. Sorry indeed to hear you are being troubled in such a big way by continuing back pain, and I can well understand how consequent tensions with it have spilled over into your everyday life. It would have been more surprising if they hadn't.
Also condolences to you for the loss of your much-valued and irreplaceable friend. Cruel how it took so long for you to have known for sure what had happened.
When you have that Harry Lime in his honour remember the best of him, but appreciate and thank him for the worst too. (And do please take an extra one for me).

September 17, 2017 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Bob Slatten said...

I often saw Janey's comments on your posts. Now I wish I'd known him better, he sounds like he was a wonderful, difficult, fun, funny, maddening human being and those are always my favorites.
Your tribute is beautiful.
So so sorry for your loss.

September 17, 2017 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Ur-spo said...

a sad post indeed; thank you for sharing your thoughts and woes.

September 18, 2017 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you Raybeard for your condolences.

Thank you Bob. Even Janey will agree that he was "wonderful" and "maddening".

Thank you, Spo. Hope you had a great time in Nawlins!

September 19, 2017 at 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Old Lurker said...

I confess I have been behind in my blog-reading and I missed this. What terrible news.

October 1, 2017 at 1:38 AM  

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