Tuesday, March 11, 2008

WLK 1982-2008

An old friend passed away last Friday, but I just started reacting today.

I wasn't avoiding the thought of him on purpose. I don't think.

I was out on the field doing some training with a new guy, and a customer added four hours of work to the ticket. Since I train the new guys on service, once the actual work began I had to step back and watch him perform, offering notes when I could. I'd like to get my hands in there and help, but at this stage I really shouldn't, so I basically helped at the beginning and then hung out doing nothing for four hours straight. Half of that time I sat in the van, checking in with my wife, checking in with the other guys, and finishing some paperwork, though that only lasted 30 minutes. I started looking out at the houses down the street. A couple of them were for sale. Then I checked out the cars that passed. Behind me was a busy street with some restaurants. I wondered if they were hiring. And then Bill popped into my mind.

I imagined what he would be doing right now if he hadn't gotten trapped in that apartment fire, and even though I hadn't really spoken to him in a while, I was positive that he wouldn't be sitting where I was. I couldn't even picture him in the uniform. He would be out there. He was my age, yet he had traveled so much of the world, had so many amazing experiences, and met so many diverse people. He was the kind of guy who you would run into and immediately start catching up... he'd eventually ask, "so where are you working," and when I would give him the answer, instead of faking a nicer response, he would let out a short laugh and ask "don't you have a masters?" He was admirably straightforward, occasionally a little too cocky, had a great, sometimes twisted sense of humor, and could always be counted on when you needed him. I honestly wish I had needed him a little more the last few years because we had grown pretty far apart. God, this wasn't the time or place for a memorial. Still, how could I have lost touch with him? How could I let this guy get away without telling him how many moments during our friendship that he impressed me or inspired me?

By the time I got to that last thought, Josh startled me when he knocked on the van door to let me know he was almost finished. I ran into the house behind him to make sure he presented the customer with an accurate summary of the work, cleaned up his workstation, and left behind all of the marketing materials. We thanked the customer and headed back to the shop. On the way Josh talked about some of the crazy things the customer talked to him about while he was working. I appreciated the distraction.

Track 5: "Arcadia" by Apparat from "Walls"
[iTunes] [website]

Thumping yet peaceful track from one of my favorite German imports. If you enjoy this track, check out "Hailin from the Edge," "Holdon," and "Way Out" (with Ellen Allien).


  1. feistyMNgirl said...

    hi greg-
    this was a moving tribute. sorry to hear about your friend.

    i understand the delayed reaction; it usually takes me awhile to sort this kind of stuff out too.