August 9, 1995
I'm not exactly sure what I was doing, but I know I wasn't happy.
My first long term relationship was winding down and I was restless,
unsure of the promise that it once held,
and ignoring plaintive appeals from my muse to write more,
get involved in something larger than myself
There were moments that held a clarity for me,
that shifted me off whatever path I'd been on,
and hearing the chorus to "Fire on the Mountain" from outside the amphitheater in Kansas
sparked some weird cognizance in my LSD addled brain and I had to get back in.
The security guard did not agree.
After getting pummeled we came to some measure of understanding
and I passed the rest of that concert --July 4th, 1991--on my own.
This was a turning point for me Jerry,
and however clichè it may sound I became a "Deadhead," a hippy,
jumping into some other way of being that I still struggle to define.
What I was melted away as my consciousness slowly returned in Bonner Springs.
Being in Boulder didn't matter and we relocated to Albuquerque a year later,
made one last trip to see the Dead in Colorado
and just got on with our life.
And then you died.
I remember hearing the news in the morning from some friend calling me from Colorado
as we roasted in a small duplex in the War Zone.
The prime spot for listening was somewhere between the floor and the rocking chair
in the middle of the room and I hung out with the dogs on the floor
sorting through my small collection of bootlegs,
and a few studio CDs that just didn't quite capture what I'd experienced.
As day rolled into night, I moved up into the wooden wicker rocker
and just let the music wash over me,
We'd already decided we were going to make another show,
no matter how far away,
and I was so terribly sad.
I like to think you'd approve of how my life has unfolded.
I write, perform, think about my impact and how I treat the ones I care about.
I'm just some fan, Jerry, some random guy from Colorado,
who just wanted to understand what all the fuss was about
and just couldn't possibly understand why so many people that I respected
were drawn to your admittedly bad voice, unpolished compositions,
and a catalog that seemed to meander across genres,
never quite fitting in any of them easily.
I still don't get it, but I miss you.
Miss what you said to me, though I'm not exactly sure what that is.