Thursday, May 6, 2010


Steve called out of the blue to tell me he'd moved to Atlanta. The Fourth of July was coming up. He wanted to know if I'd come down to visit--just for old times sake. Translation: Steve was having a hard time making new friends and didn't want to spend the holiday weekend alone.

We ended up having a nice visit. We floated on inflatable rafts on Lake Lanier, hung out around his new apartment, and took in some of the area attractions. He wanted me to move to Atlanta. Nice idea, but I was back in school and wise to his ways. I said no and cried all the way back to Lexington.

He had dinner with me and my first live-in partner at our duplex in Lexington a few years later. We laughed about our adventures but it was clear our time together was over. I never saw him again.

Fast forward to 2003. I was browsing through the profiles of guys chatting in the Atlanta room of when I found him. His screen name was Penis Inspector. I knew it was him because of several profile pictures from the early 1980s.

It was a joyous reunion. He tried to come to Athens to visit but got lost. We had a huge fight about the directions I'd provided. He got pissed then turned around and drove back to Atlanta. Some things never change.

Over the next few months we chatted online a lot. We discovered we had a mutual friend--someone he had dated that lived here in Athens. We talked about Sara and Ronnie, Rhonda, and the crazy things we did together. We became something we'd never been before: friends.

Last I heard he had fallen in love yet again and was moving to San Francisco. I told him I was happy for him, and hoped this one would be Mr. Right. He was absolutely certain this was "the one". I guess he was right.

A few months later, our mutual friend asked if I'd heard the news. Steve passed away--of liver failure. He was just 48 years old.

I was never able to confirm it from another source, but I know it's true. There was no obituary, no funeral, and no visitation. It's like he never even existed.

Stevie, it's not right for you to pass without notice. These ten chapters are for you. I can say now what I could never say 30 years ago. I love you just the way you are. Thanks for giving me so many great memories.

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