Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So Much Life

Our Colin. For those of you who have not been with me that long, our Colin is a man whom I have always written about with the most respect.
Our Colin. He was in a production with me and Marcy and Jan and Pat last year, directed by Kathleen with Judy as stage manager and Denise as prop master and he was Bud The Stud. It was a play called Sex Please, We're Sixty, and Colin was the star of the show, he shamelessly stole the whole thing, he dived face first into my crotch every night and before every curtain opening he was backstage, jumping up and down and saying, "I can't believe I get to do this AGAIN!" in his British accent and I almost wanted to slap him and say, Calm the fuck DOWN, Colin! but of course I never did.
There was nothing Colin could not do. Nothing Colin would not do. Need the ceiling in the auditorium of the Opera House painted? Colin could do it. He was a pilot, a builder, a man who could make lasagna and his own beef stew and who could charm the ladies out of their...
A year and a half ago, Colin informed us that he had a melanoma in his eye and was going to Pennsylvania to have it removed. He came home with one eye and the surrounding tissue removed. He came home and was onstage that night. He came home and continued his life with such joy, such enthusiasm, such vigor and SAY YESNESS! that none of us could believe it, much less keep up.
And all was well. He was Bud The Stud. He was his own self in his Levi's and denim shirts, slim like a snake and I gotta tell you that for a man in his seventies he had an ass on him...
Okay. Stop it. I am done.
No I'm not.
He could not stop joking about his surgery.
"How's your eye, Colin?"
"I have no idea. It's in Philadelphia."

And then last summer I would look at him and I would think, "Something is not right."
I would say, "Colin, how are you?" And he would say, "Terrific! Never better!"
And then he'd go visit his kids up north. And then he wouldn't show up for stuff at the Opera House. And then if I called and said, "What's up? Why aren't you doing this or that?" he'd say, "Oh, this shoulder. It's still bothering me."

I knew.

But I didn't want to know.

Turns out his cancer made itself known to him again last August. The doctor said, "You've got three to nine months. Nothing to be done."

He didn't tell any of us. He tied up loose ends. He did what needed to be done. He came by here for Kathleen's party to make sure that Vergil was good enough for Jessie whom he has always adored. He sent his cat to his sister's house.

And two nights ago he told Pat and Ron and asked them to tell us and Pat told us after rehearsal last night and we wept. All of us. I came home and told Mr. Moon. He held me. He loves Colin too. Everyone loves Colin. God damn.
That's why I couldn't sleep last night.

And it's been a day of thinking about him every moment. And crying. Fuck.

I called him this afternoon and he actually picked up. "I love you," I told him. "That's really all I need to say."
"I have NO regrets," he told me. "I had a hell of a ride."
He gave me that Colin laugh, even though he was having a hard time breathing. I said, "That laughs reminds me of every time I've heard it. All the times you've made me laugh."
"No regrets."
"God damn. I love you."

I offered help or whatever but he's the way he is. Stiff upper life. Chin up. Survived the Blitz and the eighties, too.

"Well, look. We're getting together tonight to celebrate Kathleen's good news and you. Just wanted to tell you."
"Love you."
"God bless."
"God bless."

We gathered tonight. We ate pizza. We drank martinis and wine and beer and we toasted. We cried. I said a blessing. I don't remember what I said. Something probably like, "Goddam. Here we are. Thank-you."

All of us.
Here's Kathleen and Jan.

Goddam. Here we are.

Hell of a ride. No regrets.



  1. Oh, Colin. Damn it.

    Kathleen looks totally hot.

  2. Damn. I am so sorry. It is good you told him you love him tonight. I bet he already knew.

    Kathleen is glowing.


  3. Stephanie- Doesn't she? I got her that sweater yesterday at the Goodwill. Softest cashmere ever with tiny pearls.

    Mel- Of course he did. But you gotta say it over and over. Kathleen is beautiful.

  4. So sorry Mary.......damn, damn, damn......why always the good ones?

  5. deb- The whole world needs to know Colin. God. we're gonna miss him.

  6. Lo- Fuck if I know. Fuck if I know.

  7. Fuck cancer. I'm sorry to hear this about Colin.

  8. Mary, it's been a hell of a ride with you. Since I was 25. Goddamn. I love you.

    Colin is a name I always wanted to name a child of mine.

    Maybe someday.

  9. I am proud to have given my son his name.

  10. Oh Mary. My eyes are leaking and leaking. He is so dear and so damn hilarious and and and.

    Much love and blessings to him and to all of you at the opera house. I hope he gets whatever he needs and wants.

  11. PS... I agree, he does have a hot little tushy!

  12. I knew something wasn't right your way. I just knew it. I'm so sorry -- damn.

  13. I'm so sorry Ms. Moon. You've been at the highest high ( with Kathleen's news) and now at the lowest with Colin. One hell of ride for sure!
    Colin sounds like someone I wish I could know. I know you will treasure the memories you made tonight. Hugs to you.

  14. Fuck. I'm so sorry to hear that. Thinking of you all.

    In other news, Kathleen is looking amazing.

  15. Love and tears and a shaky tremulous smile from Portland, Oregon.
    (yes, bless our hearts, says the Indextronaute)

  16. Thanks sharing a piece of Collin's ride. People like this are rare yet shine so bright.

  17. Stiff upper lip, wish I could keep mine when I read stuff like this. Pride like that makes me not only proud to be British but proud to call a man like that a fellow brother in human race.

  18. What a sweet, brave and strong man.

  19. I am so sorry. He sounds like a hell of a fellow.

  20. Ms. Trouble and Lora- Sentiment agreed with.

    SJ- I know. It's almost like...real life?

    Steph- Wise choice, my dear.

    Ms. Fleur- Colin is just a flame of hot joy, ain't he?

    Elizabeth- I knew you'd know.

    Mel's Way- Thanks for the hug. Truly.

    May- And I know that and I love you. Thanks, baby.

    notjustafemme- Doesn't she? Dang!

    indextronaute- Thanks, sugar.

    Sandra- Amen, mama.

    Fat Lad- Well said. Very well said.

    Jo- Me too.

    Michele R- He's like no other.

    Syd- You'd love him too.

    Magnum- And again. Amen.

  21. A life to learn from indeed. You are lucky to know him.

  22. What a man! There are so few of them left.

    I love you so.

  23. I saw the photo you posted with your blog of Colin and I laughed because thought it was cute and funny and sassy with his hand on her tush.

    As I read your words, paragraph after paragraph I felt lost. I have not lost a friend to an illness of any kind. I don't know how I will be when that day happens. What I have learned from you and other friends in blogland is how you all have dealt with some difficult times.

    Your steadfast friendship Mary with those dear to you comes out and makes me sit up and take notice of my life and relationships.

    I also read Colin's words "I have NO regrets" and I want to make sure that I too will never have regrets or words left unsaid.

  24. Damn Damn Damn. You have shown us all how great of a person Colin is through your writing. Through this blog, he has entertained even me up here in the frozen tundra.

  25. So sorry to hear this. He will be missed out here in your virtual world, too. Hugs from Here. N2

  26. Thank you for sharing, Ms. Moon. It's been a joy just to read about Colin, and I'm crying like a ninny at this terrible news.

    Hell of a ride.

  27. Thank you for sharing, Ms. Moon. It's been a joy just to read about Colin, and I'm crying like a ninny at this terrible news.

    Hell of a ride.

  28. I'm so sorry.
    This made me bawl.
    I know how loved he is.
    How amazing.
    Thank you for sharing him with us.


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