Tuesday, June 14, 2005

record store/darren hanlon

Does Darren really only have two albums and an ep and a couple of singles that we can wrap our ears around? It seems that way... The song 'Record Store' is so great. I don't know why but it makes me think of when the gang used to make regular Saturday or Sunday trips to Big Star together. I miss those days.

The man who owned the business next door to my work died last Thursday. It's a crazy thing. You know, how you never really talk to some people and take for granted that they are always around? We always said hello to each other and skirted anything real in our conversations. He'd ask questions and poke fun at my boss, I'd laugh and ask him how business was. It was all very cordial and, to me, quite superficial. I'm not a natural conversationalist at the best of times. I'd rather let someone else talk and simply listen.

Even when he was diagnosed with Cancer it was the same. I would ask him what the latest was and he would tell me, very matter of factly, point by point. I wasn't sure how to respond. I mean what do you say, "oh, um... that's great." or be inappropriately sympathetic and condescending "aww, I'm so sad for you."? (I honestly didn't know what to say.) I didn't know whether he was tired of people asking or really wanted to share about it. I asked because I cared, though, after this, I don't think I have a good way of showing that, of letting go and just caring out loud I guess. He had three major operations and was on his back for months. The Cancer was in remission. Then, it turns out, it made its way from his spine to his lungs and then to his brain.

During all this time his wife was in and out of the office. She would drive him in most days. Always keeping her head down, never really saying hello or acknowledging our presence. I know, she was going through a rough time. She would come in to our office to drop off the rent cheque in the last few months, always in and out so fast. I always wanted to know more about her. Even just her name.

When he died, we found out from their storeman, affectionately known as 'Mullet', her name and address and we organised some flowers and a donation to the Cancer Council. To our surprise, she brought in a card, just as quickly, in and out, as when she brought in the rent cheques, and we girls gathered over each others shoulders to read it. It was a 'Thank You' card and in the middle it read "A warm note of thanks to say people like you help make the world brighter by the nice things you do." She had written that the flowers and our thoughts would not be forgotten. Maybe this isn't so surprising. To me it seemed monumentally selfless and sweet. She never spoke to any of us and we've never spoken to her.

Random thoughts from a random mind.