July 11th, 2005

The Drummer

She looked just like Keri. I walked into the club and recognized the drummer. Since I only know a few people in Los Angeles, I thought I must have been imagining it, but her face kept catching my eye. I stared. I tried to place her.

Then it hit me all at once. Images of her life came streaming at me... well, the miniscule part of it that happened around me. All those agonizing feelings of helplessness came back, all of the regret about not taking the time to know her better while she was alive, all of the bleeding empathy for her kids and for the friends that did know her better.

It was haunting, in the most literal sense. After her set, she was mingling with the crowd, and always managed to be close to me, no matter where I was. Somehow it got stuck in my head that walking up, telling this complete stranger what was on my mind, and giving her a hug would alleviate some of my angst about Keri.

It's totally crazy, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was exactly what I needed to do. I knew it would be therapeutic. I started to get crazy thinking about this, and every time our eyes met, I could just imagine she knew what was on my mind, and was inviting it.

I got so wrapped up in this that I started to actually feel guilty all over again, like I was once again missing an opportunity to somehow connect with, console or somehow support Keri. I hid from her glances. I avoided eye contact. I kept my head lowered in shame.

I was sitting in chair in the corner of the room adjacent to the room with the stage, trying to be alone with my thoughts to work out what was going on in my head, and to focus on what I was experiencing. Her band walked in and sat on a couch near me. Then she walked in with a photographer, and she introduced him to two people named Matt and Dani. Keri's husband and best friend were named Matt and Dani.

I had to leave.