Daryk and I had a tumultuous relationship, and, unfortunately, I don't really feel comfortable talking about the main reason why publicly. Suffice it to say that it was another situation where, while we were extraordinarily fond of one another, we ultimately wanted desperately different things. I tried to make myself do what he wanted, and all that it really did was make me crazy.
At any rate, after we broke up, I was still hanging out with all of the same friends that we'd hung out with when we were together. And I noticed something that had never really registered with me while we were together: all of our friends were couples. I was closest to Laura and John, and they made sure to invite me along to all sorts of shows and parties and whatnot. It was good to know that they cared, but I still felt very much the third wheel, which made me sad.
So I was in the market for some new people to hang out with when I stumbled into Bob one day. Bob and I had known each other for probably more than a year at that point. We'd met through a personal ad I placed in The New City, a free weekly newspaper in Chicago. That's actually a really funny story in itself. I'd placed the ad out of anger. I was reading through the ads one night and got so fed up at all the height/weight requirements that all of the men seemed to have in their ads that I crafted my own "I'm not cute and I'm not dainty so go fuck yourselves" kind of ad. At any rate, I was kind of seeing this guy, Neal, who was a schmuck. He took me to a party one night and I remember thinking that I wanted to talk to pretty much anyone else at that party more than I wanted to talk to him. I noticed one guy, standing outside, with an old scratcher tattoo on his arm. That guy was Bob. And apparently Bob left that party, went home, opened up The New City, and responded to my ad.
Bob and I went out on a few dates and were starting to get to really like each other when he told me that he couldn't get involved with me. He said he had a situation in his life that he had thought was under control, but that he was realizing that it really wasn't, and that he simply couldn't get involved with anyone. I suspected he was talking about heroin. I knew he'd done it in the past, and had had a problem with it in the past -- I actually knew that he'd overdosed once. He always wore long sleeves, and he often appeared to be nodding -- we'd have whole conversations and his eyes would be closed or only half-open the entire time. I asked if the "situation" that he was talking about was heroin and he said no, though he also added that if he were a junkie, he would deny it. So, yea.
Anyway, back to 1995. Since our fizzled courtship, Bob and I had become friends, though, by then, we barely ever hung out together anymore. This had everything to do with Tracey, his girlfriend. Everyone hated her, and she hated everyone in return. We used to make fun of her a la Nancy Spungen: a whining jarring voice screaming crap like "Bob! All of your friends suck!" and "Bob! Where are the drugs?!" Ugh.
At some point after we'd met, Bob had moved into the apartment upstairs from me. On that fateful night in September of 1995, I came home and ran into Bob on the stairs. He said that Tracey was out of town and asked did I want to hang out with him. Hells yea! I was so ready to spend a night drinking with an old friend, and especially an old friend who wasn't a part of a couple, at least for the night.
So we went up to our roof and we drank and we talked. I talked about Daryk (who Bob had actually known in art school). I talked about my broken heart. I told Bob the secret about our relationship.
And, at some point, Bob started telling me a story about some friend of his who had bought heroin for Courtney Love when she was playing in town. I responded "you know, I've always wanted to try that" and Bob replied that if I was willing to drive, he could make a phone call and make that happen. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Tomorrow morning, at 5:20 am, it will be ten years since Bob died. Ten fucking years. Imagine the possibilities that his life had held. Imagine the things that he could have done in that time. Just look at how much I've experienced since then.