November 19th, 2002


Old, missing friends - part 2

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In 1991, I lived on Mission St when Megan, a friend from my fancy-pants college moved in to our 5 person collective home. She came from East Coast money but had some Northern California cred, with family in Sonoma County. She also had cowboy cred that Scott admired, her great grandfather being one of the few Jewish cowboys. She had beautiful Victorian red hair

I admit it. jactitation and I set them up.*** I thought they’d make a nice couple. Subconsciously, I’m sure I liked the idea that it would cement the relationship between my new and old friends, enabling me to stay close to all of them.

They hit it off right away. They started to spend all weekend, every weekend together drinking constantly. True to every couple that Jactitation and I set up, things also started going bad right away, but that’s easier to see now. They would tell stories about how cool it was to get free drinks in bars, it only coming out later that it was with the provision that it would be their last drink and that they had to stop yelling at each other.

It’s also easier to see Megan’s white trash fetish in hindsight. I would never blame Scott’s problems on her, he was well down a bad path before she moved to the Bay Area. But it seems that part of her attraction was a search for the authenticity of self destruction and wasted life. They started spending the weekends in a motel in Novato because Scott lived on a friend’s living room floor.

At some point they got "secretly" married in Reno. But it was only half a secret. Scott’s working class friends knew, took it very seriously, and some of his family even attended the wedding. The wedding photo shows his aunt beaming and looking incredibly proud. Megan didn’t tell her middle class family or friends. It was obvious that they wouldn’t approve of her marriage to a working class, high school grad, punk rock, mailroom clerk, drunk. Even though we lived with her, Jactitation and I were included in the latter group that wasn’t told since we went to college with her. When I heard about it from my North Bay friends, months later, I confronted Megan and asked her if it was true. "Yep," she replied, "Ain’t it a hoot?"

Megan and Scott moved to San Rafael and Megan began proving herself to my old friends. This exacerbated some existing tension between me and them. I had more class privilege than they did and I graduated from college on the East Coast. Combining this with moving to SF, while a friend of mine from the very same school chose to live nearer to them, made some of them feel like I was abandoning them. Megan upped the ante by being more self destructive and dangerous than anyone. When she began playing with another friend’s .45 while staggeringly drunk during a July 4th party it was too much for me. Almost all of us had grown up around guns but she hadn’t. She put all of us in the line of fire at various times while trying to playfully point it at her hubby’s head, asking for someone to take a picture. Jactitiation and I left the party early.

While it’s not a sign of class privilege to not want to die drunk posing for a picture, being cavalier with personal safety definitely impressed some of my friends. Since Megan and I fought over that and her concealment of marriage I started drifting from that group a little while she became a more central part of it.

For awhile at least. The months passed and Megan and Scott continued their drinking and fighting until Megan’s mother got very ill. I don’t want to downplay the pain she suffered when her mother died. They were very close. Tragedy can also cause people to change the direction of their lives. But as soon as Megan realized she was going to inherit a lot of money, she filed for divorce and moved out.

I don’t believe she should have stayed with Scott by any means. There was no place to go with that relationship but down. She probably could have drunk that money away like many others have done in the past. Hell, I’d probably be writing about all the great parties I went to in the early ‘90s in Marin if she had. Lucky for her she had resources available to her when playing "No future" got less fun.

When she left, Scott continued spiraling down. He lost his job by not showing up. A friend found him passed out after two solid days of drinking and watching stock car racing on TV and had to take him to the hospital. He lost the apartment he had shared with Megan, moved in with relatives and somehow got kicked out of their homes too. He stopped responding to phone calls from old friends and then disappeared for good. The last time I saw him he looked about 50 years old.

There’s hope that he just needed distance and that he’s just done one of those transformations that he used to do in his early 20s. For all I know he could have hooked back up with the Born Agains that he joined back in the day. Maybe he’s not dead or homeless and just needed to distance himself from his drinking friends, Maybe he’s still cute enough at certain bars to find women to crash with. On the rare occasions, now that almost no one I grew up with lives in the Bay Area anymore, that I see people from that crowd, we always ask each other if there’s been a Scott sighting. And I think we all read the obits regularly.**** Just in case.

Maybe I need to do a zine about friends gone missing. For another disappearance check out my old entry here

*I always interpreted his fancy cowboy boots as a tribute to his background. He switched from the typical punk army boots to cowboy boots in his early 20’s. I don’t believe Scott, like many of my California friends, ever traveled East of Las Vegas. They’d give me shit all the time for being born in Michigan and not moving to California with my family until 1970 when I was 2.5 years old.

**Except for maybe now.

*** look for a future entry about how truly disastrous our history of this is.

****Technically I guess we check the "Death Notices". No staff writer will likely be writing an actual obituary.