kshandra: Butterfly-shaped pewter paperweight, engraved with the Serenity Prayer (Serenity)
[personal profile] kshandra
Today was the memorial service for Paul Metz, long-time local fan and one of my oldest friends. My clearest memories of Paul are from the period where he and I dated, and as such I figured sharing them at the service wasn't necessarily the right thing to do. (His wife knew we had a history, but now is not the time to try and explain that to their two young sons.) But they're stories worth telling, because they really do showcase who he was.

The first memory is of a trip to the local amusement park that went awry rather early. I was carrying a bottle of eye drops with me that had spoiled in some fashion or another, and I had a fairly nasty-looking reaction after taking them. So the day was cut short as Paul bundled me into his car and took me off to the hospital. And I have this astonishingly clear recollection of him standing at the payphone in the waiting room, talking to [livejournal.com profile] murphymom, and using a key to scratch my insurance number into the back of a receipt so he could get me checked in.

The other is from a later summer, at one of his frequent gaming parties. This particular party happened to coincide with my birthday, and he'd ordered an ice cream cake for me from Baskin-Robbins. We open the box...and they've misspelled my name. I was absolutely disconsolate. (I'm trying to remember if this was the summer of '88, when they had misspelled my name on my senior yearbook; it would go a long way towards explaining my disproportionate reaction to seeing the cake.) So we're standing there, in the kitchen in his condo, me with my face buried in his shoulder. And I look up to see that he's grabbed a steak knife with his free hand, and is trying to slice up and rearrange the icing letters so it looks right.


I asked Mom this afternoon if she could remember if there had been a specific end to our relationship, or if Paul and I had just drifted. She was fairly certain it was the latter; there was a significant age difference between us at the time (I was still in high school, after all), and she suspects it finally just got to be too weird for me. We remained friends, obviously. I remember Mom helping me bake and decorate a cake for the party he hosted for the final ST:TNG episode. But I don't think I had realized just how much he still meant to me. He'd become one of those people who would Always Be There, No Matter What.

Except he isn't anymore.

Please.... NEVER pass up an opportunity to tell the people you love that you love them.
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