Tuesday, October 7, 2008

O' Gary! Where art thou?

I've reconnected with quite a few old friends in the last 2 years. There's only a few friends left that I'd like to know what they're up to and hear from again. Of those people, I have no idea where to find any of them. They haven't left any internet footprints as far as I can tell. No Facebook, no linkedin, no myspace, etc. Well, all except one.

My old friend Gary I have found. Thanks to a few educated guesses and some internet research, I know where he lives and works. I have sent him 2 emails. Our mutual friend, Andy, has also called and left a detailed message with his assistant. Another mutual friend, Adam, has spoken to his father and told him we are trying to contact him. I even sent him a gift via UPS with a hand written note with all sorts of personal touches. I know he is in possession of the package as UPS tracking shows he received it today.

If I don't hear from him by Friday, I can only assume that he wants nothing to do with us. While I will respect that wish, I will feel somewhat insulted and depressed at the same time. Gary was a great guy and had the best sense of humor. I was friends with him in high school and for one year in college as he also attended the University of Maryland before transferring to Rutgers. (If I recall correctly he attended Maryland because I jokingly said to him when I was a freshman there and he was a senior in high school, "If you apply, you'll get in.")

Gary was a rebel in the truest sense of the word. He didn't give a shit about authority and would mock it openly. While he wasn't a trouble maker, he would drive his parents crazy with his long jewfro locks of hair that covered his eyes and his winter coat that he would wear all year long. I would refer to that coat as his garbageman coat (and still do). That coat was an ugly olive green with a fake polyester shit-brown fur trim on the hood. The lining was neon orange and he would never zip it up and was constantly pulling at it to keep it on his shoulders.

Gary was part of the comedy team I founded during my senior year at high school that we called The BBC (Bill Behun Comedy Team). His nickname for the team was "hatchet man". The running joke was that Gary was always last to join us in our endeavors and unfortunately life is imitating art 20 years later. (which would be fine if he does finally join us for the reunion in November) Gary added his take on the absurdity of establishment during our short but productive run with The BBC.

Gary managed to attract some unusually quirky people to his clique of friends. I think it was because he didn't judge them for their strangeness as he probably felt like an outsider himself. I don't mean that he was a nerd, because he wasn't the classic pocket protector kind of guy (although, he was extremely smart). He was that awkward, tall and gangly kid who listened to punk music but wasn't scary and was instead quite approachable. He was arty without the pretension. He would love to just hang out and talk and joke around.

Somewhere, somehow and some time in the last 20 years he stopped making fun of the establishment and became one of them as he's now a personal injury lawyer. Maybe that's why he hasn't responded. Maybe he remembers what he was like and what he stood for and feels like he can't go back.

So Gary- if you ever read this, we still love you and we are still your friends. I would like to know what you have done for the past 18 years and tell you all about my family and what my life is like now. I would like to reconnect.

It's been too long, man.


Anonymous said...

Why so interested with your past are you not happy with your present?

Mr. Odney said...

I didn't know you'd take me up on the "love letter" idea. But that a very touching display of man love toward our old friend, Gary. You are very comfortable with yourself, and your openness is one of the qualities that makes you (and your blog) unique.

As for "anonymous," is that your wife?

JeffC said...

We definitely miss Gary. Thanks for trying.