Like all people my age, I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years. Even so, I find the ones I am most sentimental about are those I grew up with. They are the ones who have ever been imprinted in my memory as los innocentes.
Murch died August 10th. He was barely 63 years old. He got that nickname (a truncation of his name) as early as 3rd grade because he was so damn cool and so damn likeable. I remember when he was 9, he broke his leg and was in a cast on crutches and everybody (I mean everybody) wanted to carry his books.
I’ve been keeping track of as many of these kids over the years as possible. Why? We were the last of the Love Generation.
The Doomed Generation. There were so many of us leading such daring lives early on; the more daring, the more early was our demise.
A few of these kids got killed in their twenties. Mostly due to what I can only can account to what I’d call unfortunate circumstances. However the real attrition didn’t occur until we were in our forties. And those were the foolish. The ones who simply ran out of road. ‘The ones who pursued pleasure to the mad extent that they had the misfortune to over take debauchery,’ to paraphrase Bierce.
Then there those who died in their fifties. Those I call the sad ones. They wanted to live but the life choices they had made earlier on – the lifestyle they held for too long – robbed them of their health and took their lives away.
Then there were the ones who died like Murch, in their early sixties. I call them the incomplete ones. They are the ones who survived the scary bell curve of the sad wasted premature deaths only to not make it to the finish line.
Then there are those slim few who will make it; miraculously persevering to the very end. Those few – of that damned generation – who lived the full life, yet escaped with only a warning, with a view to those others who sadly didn’t. They will be those marginal few who fought the good fight, over the long haul, against all odds – and persevered to the very end.
De mí a ti vivimos morimos.
From me to you – we live, we die.
PS – You’ll be missed Murch. And from time to time I’ll remember you, along with the other cadre of exploding stars who disappeared from my life much too soon.
So he bought a one way ticket on an airline made of snow…