Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sad Song

  • Image courtesy of

  • It's funny how people can leave holes in your life.  I recently got a copy of Blink 182's album Enema of the State and on that album is Adam's Song.  That song always makes me think of Clay.  I met Clay when he was in High School and I had just entered college.  He was a really cool guy.  Actually cool falls way short of the mark; Clay was exceptional in many ways. 

    Clay was athletic and played football on the High School football team, apparently he excelled there and was very admired.  In academics, he was an Honor Student.  His parents were wealthy and lived in an exclusive neighborhood.  But all of that is surface stuff and really tells you nothing about him.

    What really spoke volumes about him was the fact that everybody; and I mean everybody, liked him.  Clay had a great sense of humor, a real way of drawing you in and making you feel like you were part of his inner circle.  This essay is evidence of that because I really did not know him very well but he is still a part of me. 

    Clay was generous, he would loan out his belongings without concern.  If there was one beer in left in the fridge, Clay would hand it to you.  That's how he was.

    Girls loved him.  Why not?  He was extremely attentive, gentle in a very masculine way and giving.  I knew of many girls who would have gone out with him if he had asked.  Finally, he was good looking, or so several girls commented on him.  Clay looked a lot like Kurt Cobain, just more clean cut.

    Like Kurt Cobain, Clay killed himself.  I was drinking pretty heavily at the time and living out of state, but I think it has been ten years since he committed suicide.  As I said, I did not know him very well.  But I still miss him now and again and the pain is surprisingly intense when I feel it.  I can't imagine how his close friends feel.  Or his parents. 

    I'm not angry at him, just as I didn't get angry at Jim for getting lung cancer.  I, better than many people, have insights into the fact that depression is a fatal disease.  Clay was sick and his disease killed him. 

    Christians sometimes say that God doesn't make junk and I agree, She doesn't.  I don't see her as some micromanaging engineer who stuck me with alcoholism and Clay with depression.  I think She set everything in motion and then...let it go.  She does not punish us for not being perfect; of that I am sure.  Clay is Her child too, and he is with Her. 

    Yesterday on my way to work I thought of him, and how nice it would be to sit with him again and bulls it about everything and nothing.  Maybe someday in Summerland I'll get to do that, sit with him and talk.  I promise, I'll make sure that Clay gets that last beer.

    I never thought I'd die alone.
    I laughed the loudest who'd have known?
    Adam's Song by Blink 182