Dear DJ,

When my grandpa died, we were sophomores in high school and my hair was at its shaggiest, covering my eyes. I asked if you wanted to go to his memorial, but you said you were going to a show that night. Something at The Bottom Lounge — the old one, when it was cool. You’d been going to a lot of punk shows with Greg back then, none of which I was ever invited to.

This is when we started to talk less. Not because of my grandpa dying. For other reasons. You and Greg had the whole punk-as-fuck thing and I, well, didn't really have anything at all.

We were just continents dividing or something.

When I walked into his memorial, I found the room filled with more people than I ever thought he knew. Usually when you go to a funeral or memorial, you meet people, some you knew and forgot, others you'd never met, and you have to match their face. If they're smiling when you greet them, you smile too. If they look down as hell, you look down as hell too. That wasn't really needed there, everyone looked pretty damn happy. Not happy that my grandpa was dead, but happy that they got to know him, I guess.

Eventually, I found my grandpa at the memorial. He looked the same as always with his trucker hat and t-shirt with a pocket over the breast. But he was, you know, a bit more white, a bit more translucent. When he saw me he smiled and tried to put a hand on my shoulder, but failed.

"Where's DJ?" he asked.

I didn't say anything. I was too busy trying to remember the weight of his hand.

"Oh, don't worry about it," he said.

He then kneeled down to the floor and snatched at the air periodically, offering me his hand after each motion. Standing above him, I'd look down at his palm, expecting to see a frog each time. Instead, I saw nothing, just his hand, nearly invisible, making the bright red of the carpet behind it painfully dull.

- MJ


Fwd: >