Saturday, January 14, 2006

El entierro del Conde de Lake George

The photograph above is of El Greco's "El entierro del Conde Orgaz" (The burial of the Count of Orgaz) which he was commissioned to paint in the church of Santo Tome in Toledo, Spain. I went to see this painting when I was there in the spring of 1996, and it depicts the popular local legend of of Don Gonzalo Ruíz who received the title of count after his death. The painting shows the heavens looking down on the more corporial world below as this pius man is laid to rest.

Four years ago, a slightly-less pius friend of mine departed this Earth without a chance to say goodbye. Though just as large a character in life as Don Gonzalo Ruíz, I chose to remember Bob Massey as the Count of Lake George, a town he certainly held in the palm of hands for most of his life.

The funeral was very difficult for me, and I wasted little time after coming home to write about the events of those several days. Since Bob died exactly fourteen days before my birthday, I'm given a silent reminder every year as I gear up for another candle on my cake.

I'd be lying if I said I don't go a day without thinking about him -- sometimes it's weeks and months. It's always the most innocuous thing that reminds you of someone, the biggest for me were my weekends in NYC for DJ School. Walking by St. Patrick's while I was with Greta, I remembered when I Bob and I drove down to NYC on Columbus Day when the Pope was there (certainly not to see the Pope), half expecting to see our faces on TV for the Columbus Day Parade. I was probably a Sophomore of a Junior, but Bob was just crazy enough that you could call and say "let's go to New York City today" and he'd be down for that. He certainly was at Christmas in 1996 when we scaled Tickle Me Elmos in front of Toys R Us down there.

It's been at least a couple years since I've talked to Jess (his girlfriend in the picture above) or his brother Paul, but what can you do? We all have to live our lives, and Bob was the tie that binds. Without him, we're all just adrift and doing our own thing.

I suppose it is what it is.

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