lately, there’s been lots

01/18/2023 2 By BuddyCushman

Last Friday morning my long-time friend Gay in Amesbury, Massachusetts messaged me to let me know Kevin Lawless had passed away. He was living in Florida. He was 73. I met Kevin in 1975 or ’76, somewhere in the miasma of youth-serving agencies north of Boston. I became a co-worker at the Tri-Town Council for Youth and Family Services in Topsfield, and we became goods pals. Before I left – on my first never-coming back venture out to California in the summer of ’77 – Kevin had become my boss, and wonderful friend. Early in 1980, the first week of January, I moved into the house he shared with then-wife Allison in Newburyport, me couch-surfing on a mattress in a spare room for a lot of months. Kevin and Alison were standing in their doorway when I came back from a half-assed job search on January 8th, waiting to tell me my dad had passed away in Arizona. I got to love Kevin, we did a bunch of fun stuff, including wild drinking together, did Clamshell Alliance things together, got arrested together. At some point, maybe it was me moving back out to California forever, again, in the summer of ’82, we went our separate ways. He went on to become a successful realtor and then a successful lawyer. I kept riding back and forth across the country.

Last Friday Gay let me know Kevin was gone, and later that day, sitting in my favorite chair in Ann’s place, her off to a yoga class, I took a steno pad and wrote down the names of everyone I could think of who I’d loved over the years, and who I knew loved me back. Mostly men. Many dead. Spontaneously I began sending texts to some of those still here with us, saying I’m thinking about you and I hope things are good with you, hopefully leaving “Thank you” between the lines. It was 10 texts. A guy named Joe called a few minutes after getting my text. He’s a Medford, MA guy, in Florida for some of the winter. He did most of the talking and it was fairly magical, and he mentioned a mutual Medford friend going through a lot of hard times. Joe sent me that guy’s tele number later, his name’s Neil, and I reached out, and on my walk an hour ago Neil called and we talked a lot – it was mostly him talking – and I heard his stuff and he heard some of mine, and we promised to stay in close touch going forward.

Kevin was 73. I’m 73. My friend and sponsor Eddie died early in the 1990’s. Doug died in 2003. Bob died in 2010. Billy died in 2018. Kevin died 10 days ago. I got to wake up and go for a walk in the back-again San Diego sun this morning. Text back and forth with Ann. Get a call from Neil. Earlier this Wednesday, today, in my Morning Pages, I was writing about feeling stuff, and asking lots of questions of myself about how much stuff I really and truly feel. Not just think about. Not just write about. But physically and soulfully and spiritually feel. Lately, there’s been lots.