Guitar Boy

I guess now is the time to venture into this topic…

My parents were always listening to music at home, especially when entertaining friends and on holidays when all the family would come. Perhaps that’s where my interest stemmed. My earliest memory of my serious interest in music goes back to about 6th grade when Rapper’s Delight came out. My friends and I would sit in the back of the school bus on the way to school and try to sing all the lyrics to the song as best we could until we finally all had it memorized. I wanted that record so badly! And I remember my mother giving me the money to go buy it at the mall at Musicland. I still have it as a matter of fact. That was the beginning of a life long love and relationship with music for me.

As I got a little older and my mother would drop me off at the mall with my friends to run amuck, I remember her always giving me about $10 to spend on Friday or Saturday night. I would head right for Musicland and buy the latest 45 and use the rest for arcade games and icees. I had a collection building at home. One Christmas when I was about 15, I asked for a Technics stereo system that came in a pressboard, veneer cabinet with a glass door. It was quite expensive and I wasn’t sure my parents could afford to give it to me but they did. One of the best gifts ever. I also still have some of the components although the cabinet took a fatal blow in my move from Birmingham to Pensacola. I loved my music.

When I went off to college, I was so excited to go see bands play at the different frat houses. I didn’t care if they played covers or originals; it was just so exciting to see. I was also introduced to a whole new world of music Montgomery didn’t have to offer. I discovered new bands and some older bands I’d never heard of by listening to these cover tunes. Auburn had a used CD store (Wildman Steve’s) and I spent any left over food cash I had on used CDs.

When I was a junior, I became a little sister at the Pi Kappa Phi house thanks to a guy from home who sent me an invitation to go out for rush. I had rushed before for little sister at a few fraternities but never made it. I managed to get in thanks to my buddy Ricky Bradley. I did my best to be at all the functions and what a ticket to fun it was! Great times to be told in another entry.

At one particular party one night, I notice this one boy hanging around the house. He obviously wasn’t a member because of his long hair. He seemed to be rather messed up the first night I saw him but I watched him all night. I wanted to know who he was. Oddly enough weeks later I found out, another member I knew, Hanni Heredia knew this guy and said he was the guitar player for his band Idaho Trust. Hanni said I should meet him and went about doing what he could to introduce me to Adam. Hanni spoke to Adam about meeting me and Adam remembered who I was. Adam spoke of me as “The Goddess of Love”. So Hanni and Dana (his girlfriend at the time and also a little sister) went about arranging a meeting.

Being into live music, the place to go in Auburn to see the good bands play was a place called Darnell’s. Hanni and Dana arranged for me to meet Adam at Darnell’s one night. I arrived with my friends before they did and got a pitcher of beer and secured a table. I remember Dana coming to get me and bring me up to the bar area to introduce me to Adam. We sat and talked and talked through many pitchers. I was just so drawn to him. In my inebriated state, I thought it would be a good idea to take him home to my apartment where I shared a bedroom with my roommate Cathy. We stumbled in drunk and I showed him to my room where Cathy was already sleeping. He crawled in my bed while I went and washed my face and brushed my teeth. I joined him and we whispered and talked all night long as my roommate tossed and turned with exasperated sighs. I had a psychology class the next morning, a Friday I believe, at 9am. When we woke after a few hours sleep, Adam said he wanted to go to class with me. I was so thrilled! He asked for a sheet of paper and a pen while I sat through class with him in the desk behind me. I took my notes and payed attention like I should. When the class was over, he folded up the paper and handed me my pen. We headed back for my car and on the way out of the building, he crumpled up the sheet of paper and threw it in the trash. I retrieved it although he asked me not to. I put it in my pocket and I took him to his house. This was the beginning…

A lot of the memories are blurred these days and perhaps that is good. I just know that I fell so hard for him within minutes of meeting him. Adam was a special person and had a huge impact on my life. From the moment I met him, we spent most of our time together talking. I like to think he shared more about himself with me than he ever did with anyone else. Maybe I’m fooling myself.

As I said, Adam was in a band with Hanni. They mostly played around Auburn but had the occasional gig at another college. Wherever they played, I went. Hanni would call my place looking for Guitar Boy. He introduced me to all his friends. I spent most nights with him wherever he was and my roommate was home fielding the 7:30am calls from my dad telling him I had already left for class. Adam had a studio apartment on Gay Street with a couch, a twin bed, a kitchenette, and a bathroom. On nights he would play out of town and I couldn’t attend, he’d leave his front window unlocked so I could climb in and wait in the bed for him.

In learning his history, he revealed to me that his parents didn’t like him too much. He’d been a bit of a problem child beginning around age 15 when he lived in California. He was a rocker and played guitar and his parents pretty much felt he was worthless. When he decided to go to Auburn, his dad had great hopes he would be successful and somehow morph into the preppy, straight kid they wanted. He chose to buck the sytem. He grew long hair, he drank, he smoked cigarettes…all the things they hated. And Adam often told me of their disapproval…mostly his dad’s. But he had a talent. He could play guitar by ear. He never learned to read music but he could play any song he heard by ear.

As our relationship went on, he divulged to me that he had these overwhelming bouts of depression. It didn’t help matters any that he had failed out of school causing his parents to cut him off financially. He was working at a local restaurant to pay his rent and live but couldn’t afford tuition to get back into school. It took all he made to keep up his rent; many times he couldn’t even afford food. I remember him telling me once that he was about to have his power disconnected because he couldn’t afford the $60 bill. I immediately went down and paid the bill and never told him. The depression would hit him and he would hole up in his apartment for days on end not answering the door. He kept a journal he made me vow to never read…and I never did touch it.

Many months into this, after one of his week long hiatuses, he stopped talking to me. I left notes on his door asking him to call but nothing. I would try to go see him and he wouldn’t answer the door. I was headed into Darnell’s one night when I saw him coming in the opposite direction with his best friend John Heredia and another girl. I approached him and he wouldn’t speak to me. He just walked on. I went in to Darnell’s and spent my evening as I usually would but just couldn’t shake the fact that he had a girl in tow that I didn’t recognize…knowing John was dating someone else. I was totally drunk by the end of the night and I just couldn’t handle it. I took my friends home and against their wishes, I went to Adam’s apartment. I knocked over and over and he wouldn’t answer. So I checked my window. It was unlocked. I crawled inside to find him asleep on his couch in his boxers. I tried to wake him and he said, “Go away!”  I looked toward his bed and saw the same girl from earlier asleep in his bed with her clothes neatly folded in a stack on the floor. I lost it. I started crying and screaming at him asking who the fuck she was. He wouldn’t answer; he just laid there and let me beat on him. And I left.

I was completely devastated and nearly comatose. I couldn’t stop crying and I could barely function but I did what I had to do to go to class and get home to my room. I just couldn’t understand what had happened and who the hell was this girl?

Several weeks went by and I got a call from Adam. He wanted to see me; I couldn’t believe it. He asked me to meet him at his friend Chet’s apartment in the same complex he lived in. I immediately rushed over. He was the only one there. He wanted to talk to me. He was quite serious. He explained that he was leaving for California in a few weeks. He had nothing left there and thought he could go to California where he’d spent most of his youth and make a go of it as a musician. In my mind, I knew he didn’t have enough money to go and thought he’d never do it. But he explained his plan was to leave with Hanni who was graduating and headed out to California for law school. He handed me a copy of a cassette his band had recorded and he wanted me to have it. Still in shock and not really beliveing he would go, I continued to talk with him as we listened to the Amadeus soundtrack cassette. And sure enough, he did it. About two weeks later he was gone.

After several months, I saw one of his best friends out at Darnell’s and asked him about Adam. Sam told me that last he heard, Adam was living on the streets of L.A. I worried and cried and cried and cried. But what could I do? I had no way to reach him. I just hoped he’d come back looking for me. I was already dating someone else but I always hoped Adam would come knocking at my door. After I graduated and moved to Pensacola, I heard that Adam had moved to Washington, D.C. and was working in a bar called the 930 Club. I debated long and hard but on night decided I would call. I go the number from information and called. A girl answered the phone and I asked for him; she told me to hold on. I could hear the conversation…she told him he had a call and he asked who it was…she comes back asking who is calling so I gave my name…she repeats my name back to him and he tells her to tell me he doesn’t want to talk to me and not to call again. I hung up.

Day after day, year after year, I wondered if he was ok. I wondered why he wouldn’t talk to me. Did he not love me after all? Could he just not handle it? I don’t like not knowing things. But I respected his wishes and never tried to contact him again.

In May of 1995, I’d become estranged from my then roommate in Pensacola named Diane but she called me one day and said she needed to come talk to me. I told her to come over. She came in and was quite down trodden. She said she needed to tell me something. She found out from one of my best friends, who didn’t have the heart to talk to me, that Adam died of a drug overdose three years earlier. I went white. I was in shock. I was sick. I cried. I cried for weeks. I called in sick to work. I was so shocked and depressed I couldn’t function for weeks… And the best friend that couldn’t tell me called about 2 days after I was dealt the news and told me, “Well DeAnna, he played hard and he paid for it.” I have never spoken to her again.

I’m still dealing with it. It never goes away. He was supposed to show up at my door someday. And this story is only a teeny tiny summary of what happened. There are so many memories and stories that I can’t begin to bore you with that make up this whole thing. But I love him and I always will…and he was the one that no one else can ever be.


Orange Beach – My Mama’s Home

I decided to come down to Orange Beach for a few weeks during this summer since we now own my mother’s place. I figured the kids would enjoy going to the pool every day and they could also spend time visiting their NorMama (my dad’s wife). They so love seeing her and ask often when they will get to visit with her again.

Coming here is so bittersweet. There are still little pastel colored post-it notes everywhere with inspirational sayings and quotes that my mother left herself as reminders. All her belongings are still here, basically untouched. Her little orgainizer sits on her kitchen bar full of mail and things she needed to keep or tend to. Her sewing box sits next to her chair in the living room with her magnifying lamp she used to quilt. The closet in the extra bedroom is full of quilt material and scraps she intended to use. Quilt tops have been pieced together and left waiting for her return. She just knew she was coming back home.

As I sit nightly on the deck, I realize why she loved this place so much. You can hear the water lapping on the shore of the bay, such a peaceful and calming sound. You see the lights of the marinas and condos in the distance but it is quiet. Occasionally, you can hear music playing from a distant restaurant patio. The moon reflects off the water as the dolphins break the surface of the water and plunge back in. Could there be a more relaxing setting?

I’m sorry I couldn’t get her back here for her final days. It just happened so fast and before I knew it, she was helpless and unable to travel any distance. Perhaps it’s poor planning on my part but her doctor didn’t warn me of what was coming…and how soon it would happen. I don’t fault myself for it; I did so much and I did the best I knew how.

I find myself in a daze here staring at all her things and frozen when I think of doing away with them. How can I do that? But I have to…eventually. Nothing is urgent since it has a home here but eventually, I have to come to grips with the fact that things must go. When I unpacked after getting here, there was no place to put most of my things because all her cabinets and dressers were full. I looked under her bathroom sink for a place to put my make-up bag and found various bottles of lotion, several bottles of peroxide and alcohol, cleaning supplies, etc. No room at all for one more thing.

She never would have left all these things behind for someone else to deal with if she knew she was going to die. More proof she planned to come home. As obsessed as she was with ridding all my cabinets of any expired foods, I found her air conditioner filter with a little date written on it: Aug 1st 2008. She was so organized. Who writes the date on their filters?!??!

I’m hoping this will be a theraputic time for me being in her home. But it is still her home to me.