In the spirit of the New Moon and in celebration of the Spring Equinox and an invocation of the Throwback Thursday, and a time where the veil is thin and even Spock has sloughed his mortal (half-alien) coil, I wish all of we gentle souls healing and love. May our inner children be happy, plump, and full of cheeseburgers (or kale, if you’re veg-style). May we call on the strength and wisdom of our forbears, the spirit of the bear, and anyone who’s ever been a teddybear. We can use all the fuzzy strength we can get, wocka wocka wocka, and so forth.
I was looking through my senior high school yearbook and came across this beautiful gem from my old friend Martin Bosworth, who was one of the smartest people I know:
Martin and I did not see each other a ton after high school — now and then we would run into each other around the Boston University campus and then would catch up on Facebook until he passed from a pulmonary embolism in February of 2010. But when we did connect I appreciated his sharp wit, huge heart, and his authenticity. He was one of the most unique people I’ve known — wearing these great black leather driving gloves in high school basically always. I remember him jumping up on a desk in our history class over a heated political discussion. I admired his passion.
My favorite memory of Martin, however, is from a school dance, when he plopped down on the floor at the end of Faith No More's "Epic," and flopped around like the fish gasping for air at the end of the music video. Everyone was so goddamn serious in the 90s and the levity he brought was palpable.
Martin’s authenticity and empathy taught me a great deal when I was a teenager and going through a rough time, feeling really shitty, trying to learn how to express myself and explore interests and my creativity without being crapped on too much. But we all know no matter what, if we put ourselves out there, we will likely eventually be shit on in some way. Someone always wants to take you down or won’t get you. It’s just something you have to deal with, and — as Martin so eloquently puts it in his yearbook entry to me (while quoting the Red Hot Chili Peppers) -- screw ‘em:
Bust my britches
Bless my soul
I’m a freak of nature
Walking totem pole
Look and see, I think you’ll agree
Nobody weird like me
Long since Flea and Anthony Kiedis’s underpants-antics stopped holding some cachet for me I still take Martin’s words to heart.
You did not live long enough but you did prosper, friend, in your richness of character, relationships, and individuality. I promise to keep that attitude alive. Nobody weird like me.
3/20/2015 05:21:17 pm
Jenn, I am so deeply touched by what you have written here and by Martin's yearbook note that you so generously shared. Of course I miss him every day of my life, but I take comfort in knowing how he touched your life, and the lives of others, and left such influence and memories. Thank you and bless you, from Martin's mom.
3/21/2015 02:41:19 am
Thank you so much for your kind, kind words. Martin really helped me. Such a true individual. I am so deeply sorry for your loss.
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It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.