Let me say it one more time.
It still isn't enough. Far from it, but it will have to do. I'm sitting here in stunned silence, and the hurt isn't going away.
This weekend, my close friend Blitz passed away. Blitz was a burner from Iowa who I met at my first Interfuse. He was suffering from respiratory illness brought on by too many years of hard living. He had made some wrong choices in life many years ago, had become addicted to methamphetamine, and had even been a member of a white supremacist group. That was, UNTIL he found out that he was himself of mixed race.
That was the turning point for him. He quit meth FOREVER. He retained the ‘White Power’ tattoo on his chest as a reminder of ‘when I was young and stupid’. He became a part of the burner community in Des Moines, and a few years later, I met him. It was 2007, the year that I first went to the Interfuse Midwest regional burn. He created art in the form of paintings, strongly influenced by his time as a graffiti artist. It was fairly good stuff, but it wasn’t the kind of art you’d find in a doctor’s office. It was dark, edgy, and provocative. It made you THINK. We sat and talked at the Iowa camp for damn near 3 hours one afternoon, man to man and soul to soul as he told me his story and I told him mine. Honesty, hopes and dreams were shared in that afternoon. It's really sad when you realize that two human beings can only rarely find the kind of common ground we did.
I was about to leave when Blitz broke his sunglasses. He stepped on them, not remembering where he’d placed them. I had just gotten about three or four pair of safety sunglasses for free from a vendor at a safety symposium, so I returned to my camp and brought him a new pair, still in their protective plastic and box. Blitz was thrilled - they looked sharp on him, and did a great job of keeping the sun out of his very sensitive eyes. I was happy to be able to gift him. At that point, Blitz told me, “You keep on BEING who you are, bro, cuz I feel like you’re my brother from another mother.” I promised him I would continue being the same person, and I got him to promise me to never look back, and to ride on in life.
He kept his promise, and he looked life in the eye.
Blitz, bro, if by any strange stretch of this fucked-up universe you can hear me, let me tell you that you influenced my life for the better. I’m blinking back the tears right now, but I want to tell you that you are still loved by many, including me. Maybe someday we’ll ride together in the great beyond and have another heart-to-heart sharing. You kept your promise. In honor of you, I’ll keep mine. There can be no greater dedication in your epitaph:
He fulfilled his promise.
Departed this world Dec. 15, 2012
I'll say it one more time only.
Rue Morgue - '08, '09
Black Rock Beacon - '10, '12
Bacon is forever.
Veni, vidi, pertudi.