Tag Archives: larry

Xanadu Dreams

A week or so ago, I had a really vivid dream with Larry in it.  We were on a porch of some cabin-like building, sitting on the steps leading to it.  We were deep in conversation with Olivia Newton John, who was delighted with us and we were delighted with her.   The subject of her songs came up (as it would if you were talking to ONJ) and we told her how much we loved her song, “Magic,” from the movie Xanadu.  It’s a truly wonderful song, created by the always fabulous ELO.

It’s a cheesy song for sure, but this dream was beautiful as she was belting it out and Larry and I were eating it up, and joining in of course.  Then I woke up.  Here is a performance of “Xanadu” too, which is another fantastic dreamy song and including it just because it’s awesome.

I guess all I can hope for is to have these periodic dreams.   I know that doing stuff like cooking or running or watching shows Larry loved help make it feel like he’s here with me, but it also just makes me even more sad while also being not sad.   It’s just so fucking awful.  I have a picture of us on my desk and his smile just lights up the world.  And he’s dead.  I watch his shows and see things that I wish we could talk or kvetch about, and no, that’s right, I’m alone.  I had my lucky chance, and it’s now over.

Today I watched the 1999 movie Trick, which was one of the first gay movies I saw that I personally felt was slightly realistic, if “realistic” means that a beautiful young 20-something encounters a gorgeous 20-something go-go boy and something more develops over the course of a night when the original intent was just to hook up.  It’s a funny fucking movie, lots of great moments (and plenty of hot club guys to gawk at), and the two leads are just adorable.  But the way they fall in love resonated so much with me as a lonely in-the-closet gay in 2005 (when I saw the movie finally, purchased on Amazon) and gave me such hope about what might happen for me.  Then I went to NYC and it fucking happened.  I did fall in love with a guy and honestly I can tell you I fell in love with Larry that first night.  Some times these things happen.

I watch the movie again, now widowed from that same magical man, and I don’t have that lonely hope anymore.  I’m just lonely and resigned to the fact that to hope for that again is foolish.  I don’t know what I’m entitled or lucky enough to hope for in the future, but I just want to somehow learn how to not be as sad.   That maybe knowing I did have that love for 11 years was and is enough and to be content.   But all I feel at the moment is loss and grief.

Larry Loved: The Next Conversation Podcast

If you knew Larry, you knew he was a giant fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation.   He loved Star Trek in general, including the movies and The Original Series, but TNG was his jam.  You’ll see on our Netflix that he’d pretty much watched every episode multiple times, and those that don’t have a complete red progress bar are those that he deemed “meh”.   TNG was his drug, and man did he love watching it – and I think he loved the cast/characters that were on the show.   Picard, of course, but also Riker, Data, Dr Crusher, Deanna Troy, Worf, Jordie….the whole crew.   I could get into some episodes, but for me, I always would have the “Larry Commentary” to help me understand what was going on or what those passing references actually meant.

So fortunately for Larry, a few years back, one of the guys behind the James Bonding podcast, Matt Mira, joined up with his co-writer friend, Andy Secunda, to go through every episode of TNG, in order.   And then talk about it.  Andy was a newbie to the franchise, so he’d come in with the new view point, while Matt was like Larry, someone who’d seen these episodes plenty.   It’s a very funny podcast series, but warning, these episodes can go on for a loooong time, and sometimes the episode itself isn’t talked about for like an hour.   It is perfect for if you’re working and just listening to something, as it feels like you’re just hanging out with two good friends.

You can subscribe to their podcast, Star Trek: The Next Conversation, via any of the podcast services.   They’re currently up to midway through Season 5.

I am bringing this up today because earlier this week, I sent an email to their podcast letting them know that one of their biggest fans had passed, and how he listened to their podcast through chemotherapy and recovery over the last 18 months.  Happily, they responded yesterday – and right on cue, I started sobbing as it was just such a happy thing to receive but also just another reminder of what I’ve lost.  They posted about Larry on Twitter here:

And they indicated that they’d read my email on the next official TNC podcast episode, which we’ll see if that actually happens as I don’t know how much they want to bum their listeners out, but still, I think Larry would be very thrilled to know two of his favorites have him in mind and are thinking of him.  I know it makes me happy.

Michancy Visited

This past weekend obviously was focused on Larry’s memorial, and to be able to make it through that without losing my mind, Michancy came down and stayed with me for the weekend.  She finally got to stay in the guest room too!

The visit was wonderful – she flew in on Thursday evening to Burbank Airport (yay!), and on Friday I took the day off so we could hang out.   We swung by a dispensary to stock up, and for the first time in a long while, I smoked some weed.  And if you just manage to pace yourself, it’s amazing.   We just hung out and watched TV (I was inspired to watch MacGruber because of the “Unspooled” podcast – very dumb movie, but still hilarious;  we also watched the first episode of Picard and it was very very good.  Again, I’m so pissed Larry wasn’t able to see it), and then that night, we sat out on the patio and drank, smoked weed, and had a dance party.   Every Friday night should be so chill.

On Saturday, the chilling continued.  We watched Looper that morning, and having not seen it since 2012, I had forgotten how fucking gREAT it is.  Rian Johnson is a helluva storyteller.  Also watched Across the Universe that evening as I was in the mood for some Julie Taymor Beatles fun, although even though it’s a spectacle, the story really is just kinda dumb.   The performances of the songs really are what make the movie.

Sunday was obviously the memorial, and then afterward when we got back, we just relaxed some more and watched some ST:TNG episodes, and watched one that was relevant to Picard, “The Measure of a Man”.  TNG is a good series, but I just couldn’t watch it as much as Larry could.   I have started listening to the podcast Larry loved, “Star Trek: The Next Conversation”, as they talked about the first episode of Picard.  I ended up writing them a message letting them know about Larry’s death as he had been an occasional mention on the show and each time that happened, Larry just got so happy.

Anyway, I’m so glad to have spent this weekend with Michancy.  Never a dull moment, and she indulged my wine drinking, so yay me.

Larry’s Los Angeles Memorial

It was a good day to share memories about Larry with friends and family out here on the west coast.  The loss is still so raw that I still find myself dumbfounded that this is happening.  I wait to wake up and discover this was all a terrible nightmare, but that isn’t the reality.  My reality is that Larry lost his fight with cancer after giving it his all.  There’s no turning back time.   His goodness and spirit no longer have a body to live in and, I am choosing to believe, are now out in the world with us in some form or fashion.  I have to believe that.   I need to believe that.   I need him here still.

So that’s the mindset I find myself in now, and it was the mindset I still had this past Sunday.   Regardless of the loss and grief, having this event with loved ones was wonderful.   Barb and Jack completely went above and beyond hosting us at their gorgeous home in Newbury Park, and my friends dove in and provided the goodies and the work to get everything ready on Sunday.   I am a very lucky, blessed guy that this was all done for Larry.  it shows the impact he had on so many.

We had time from 10-3 on Sunday, and during it was just a good time catching up with folks I hadn’t seen in a while (the Barnes family!  NBC friends!  Larry’s coworkers and friends! ) and just being there with everyone.    I did want to say something while most people were still there, so here’s what my notes were from that day – I cried many tears trying to get through this:

Thank you for being here – I wrote something for Larry’s funeral that isn’t right for today.  While I still feel a lot of those emotions – the rage, the sadness, the loss – I know I can’t dwell endlessly on them.  So I grieve day by day, with some days easier than others.

What I want to share instead is just that I was so filled with love when I was with Larry.  And with his death, there’s a hole in my heart that I don’t know how to deal with. But each day, the love from my friends and family helps.  I know the pain won’t really ever go away but with time, there will be healing and so I hold on to that and smile when I think of things Larry would have loved or try to cook a meal knowing Larry is probably shaking his head at all the things I’m doing wrong.

There are still going to be tears and I don’t try to avoid them.  All I can do now is try to convey what I’ve learned – please embrace and love those in your life as often as you can.  None of us know the time we have left, so try not to let life slip by without appreciation.   And for the love of god, take care of your health and be proactive.  Don’t hide from the colonoscopy because it makes you uncomfortable.  Not that it would have saved Larry as he was still too young for it to have been done, but don’t ignore your body.  We caught his cancer too late, so please, just don’t ignore your body and put your head in the sand.

I love you all and thank you for coming and thank you so much to Barbara and her family for letting us enjoy this day at her lovely home, and to my friends who helped make this whole event happen.

There were some clever and emotional ways that people were asked to contribute while there.   Two guestbooks were there for people to write messages in – one for me, one for Fran.   There are also letters that people can write messages in that will be sent to me and Fran.  Also, people could paint on rocks and Mila will assemble them for something like a memorial we can have on my roofdeck.   Tim also provided me a frame with one of his student films with Larry starring as “The Maestro” and it’s amazing.  Just seeing his face in action in much younger, happier days was so nice.

Anyway, I am thrilled at how it all turned out.  I’m torn though as part of me feels like this was a way for most people out there to have closure on Larry.   I’m only just starting on that journey – there will never be closure.  I don’t even know how to imagine life without him.  I’m living it, I guess, but it’s a nightmare.  All I have are memories now and to think about somehow “processing” them all away depresses me.   It’s all just so fucked.

Here are pics from the day – pretty fantastic.   Weirdly enough, the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant happened literally while we were driving through that area to Newbury Park, as it happened in Calabasas right before 10am.   It was so foggy that day (and it was cold the entire day while the day before and the next day it was sunny and great).   Insane how life can be just so fucked for any- and everyone.

Larry’s West Coast Memorial is this weekend

I haven’t posted yet my thoughts from around Larry’s funeral earlier this month back in New Jersey, as I’ve been chronologically adding back in journal entries to the site.  Needless to say, the funeral was a lot to deal with.  This weekend, we are having Larry’s memorial for those who were not able to make it to New Jersey for the funeral or sitting shiva.   It will be at my wonderful friend Barb’s house and I think it will be much less intense than the funeral.   I can’t deny that I’m starting to have some stress about it, as this will be a lot of people who were in my and Larry’s lives on a regular basis all coming to think and remember him.  These past two weeks have not been easy – Larry’s absence is entirely all-consuming.  I don’t know who I am or how to be without him.  And that will be first and foremost in my mind as we celebrate him this weekend.

I should probably relax a little though – I’m going to have so many friends around me, as well as some family.  Not sure if I’m going to say anything, but if so, it obviously won’t be the same as what I said at the funeral.  I’m happy that Michancy is coming into town tonight.  I’m going to take tomorrow off as I think just relaxing is needed ahead of this weekend.

While futzing around this site, I found myself back in posts I made back in 2008 when Larry and I were first starting to date.   I then cried when reading the post when I asked him to be my boyfriend.  I can remember those moments so clearly, but it is so nice to have something written down from at the time to see how optimistic and hopeful I was.   Let’s see if that kind of energy can return to me.