- Last nite I was flipping through the channels and came across MTV's BIOrythym
profile of David
Spade. The last portion of it dealt alot with his friendship
with Chris Farley. David and Chris.
I've always wanted to write about my old friend Chris here. I've tried to a couple of times, but always deleted it before I posted it b/c I wasn't happy with it. It wasn't funny enough, I rambled on too much, and it just wasn't plain interesting whenever I tried it before. It's gonna be a long story anyway. Maybe if I got high on something then it'd be more interesting. Oops, I forgot, I'm all out of stuff, and I don't have any Vicodin sitting around the apartment. So I'll try it sober instead.
(BTW, last nite I decided to try an experiment and I chugged two cans of Red Bull, which is a potent energy drink. Supposedly three of them will get you feeling groovy, and six will just whack you out of your mind. But I can successfully report that two cans a) Do not make me high, b) Do keep me awake, c) are the secret ingredients in piss, and d) Give me the worst stomach ache when I wake up the next morning after Ray calls me.)
Chris was a little dood who I met in my PE class in 7th grade. He was short. He was so short that this chick in our class who wasn't an Amazon herself called him "Short" like it was his name. Kids can so cruel. Too bad he didn't call her "Ugly Dumb Bitch." Anyhow, We hung out in PE, but that was it. We never saw each other in 8th grade, but when we started high school I switched my schedule around because my French class was too full. I got put into Chris' PE section. We didn't really talk until the end of that semester. Since our schedules were gonna be different the next semester, we started hanging out together at lunch.
Now at this time, my GPA was horrible. He was a good studious boy, so I figured he'd want good studious friends, and I told him I was a good studious boy as well. I lied and said my GPA was better than it was, and I lied and said I was in a higher level math class (I was actually repeating Pre-Algebra at the time. I was, and am, a lazy dumbshit). We hung out and ate our lunches with all the other cool kids at the career center.
Note that last line is said with much sarcasm.
But I didn't care, I had a friend I was happy with, who I could talk shit with. And it wasn't shit like, "Ooh, look at Kate Hansen, I'd like to get into her panties" kind of shit. And he didn't like sports besides tennis, so we couldn't talk like the sorta shit I usually talked about. So what'd we talk about? Politics. Music. Colleges. Classes. Ok, we were dorks, but I didn't think of him as such. He was good looking and snappily dressed, and probably spent and hour every morning on his hair so that not a single strand was out of place. He fucking loved his hair.
Anyhow, to be more like Chris, I decided to follow his lead and get into Advanced Placement and Honors classes. I took two each for the next three years. I also started studying and doing my work so I could feel worthy enough to hang with him. I also did so too boost my grades so that my parents didn't lock me in the closest with my books and stale bread and water, making me study until I passed Biology or whatever. He was also a conservative Christian boy (his fucking name WAS Christian, not Christopher), and he didn't swear, so neither did I -- at least not around him. I continued to curse like a drunken sailor around my other friends and family - they didn't mean as much to me.
So I clung to Chris like gum to a shoe. We sat next to each other in our classes, ate lunch together, and hung out together on our breaks. When I got a car before 11th grade started, I always gave him rides home that year. Because he was more ambitious than I was, he got to know more people than I did in other Honors classes and ASB, the impotent student government whose only real function seemed to be selling marshmallow treats at lunch. Through him I got to know the other people in his classes and ASB, and made more friends that way.
But Chris and I never hung out together outside of school until over halfway through our senior year of high school. My senior year of high school wasn't like anything portrayed in the movies. I studied extra hard (I got a 4.0 for all the good it did me), I didn't get laid, I didn't party. I just kept on playing role-playing games like the dork that I am, err, was. Chris used to play them and missed playing them, so he asked if he could do so with my small group of friends who bore a scarily resemblance to Alex's role-playing friends on MTV's bomb-ass new show, Downtown. I was happy to oblige, even if I was nervous about mixing my social worlds together. So we would do that then a few times a week.
Anyhow, I went off to Washington State U., and he went east to Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. I got really lonely and depressed and call him a lot. He called me a lot, too, and gave me support -- he opens up about how he was in therapy when he was younger after his dad died, and tells me to get into it. We had big phone bills (although in retrospect, they pale in comparison to what I racked up with Tasha). In April, he dropped out of college b/c he said he didn't like the school or the city, and said he was gonna transfer to George Washington for the next year. I get home a month later, but things aren't back to normal. He's lost interest in playing my new role-playing campaigns (how can you not find an post-apocalyptic Australia Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness campaign uninteresting?, and doesn't want to continue with his own. He ends up meeting with an old high school friend named Carlos, who had since come out of the closet.
So he started hanging out with Carlos a lot. I felt lonely and dejected. I got into therapy, and I was transferring to UCLA, but some old lady had crushed my car into a sardine can and I missed my old routine. So once I call up Chris and I'm on the verge of tears - I'm that depressed and lonely. He was house-sitting at his grandparents house and he tells me to come over. So I did and we talked for a bit and played with his grandparents' dachshunds (note: old people LOVE dachshunds. If you ever need to get your geriatric relative something, give em' a dachshund). Then I sat down with him and told him how hurt I was, how I felt like I was being left out and abandoned. In retrospect, it was pretty evident that I was jealous of Carlos.
"Well, what if I told you that Carlos was more than 'just a friend'?"
With that phrase, our friendship was spun on its ass. The first thing I blurted out was "I knew it! I knew it!", even though if I had known it, why hadn't I said anything or used that to comfort myself? So Chris was gay. I was the first person outside of his therapist and his mom who he told (well, and Carlos, but when you're going down on another guy I guess he assumes that). So what was gonna happen between us?
I thought it was cool. I let him and Carlos have his space, and so when I did see Chris, we weren't rolling 20-sided dice to see if he hit the mutant kangaroo. We talked more about our <gasp> feelings and depression and shit. Wow, we were amazingly big wussies. Anyhow, Chris got more depressed as his relationship with Carlos deteriorated. I was also slow in understanding how much trouble he was having with his homosexuality. This is a guy who less than a year before argued on the phone with me about how gay people are going to hell because that's in the Bible, and I was wrong to think otherwise. All the while he knew what was inside him and he absolutely despised himself for it.
In what should have been obviously predictable if I had half a brain cell, I got a phone call one night from his mom (who I'd never met before), telling me that she's at the hospital b/c homeboy tried to kill himself. He tried to slit both his wrists and overdose on some pills.
So I drove over to the hospital (the same one where my mom worked), and he's in ICU so I can't see him. So I talk with his mom and shit, tell her what I know and what she knows. Then I go home. The next day she tells me that he's in a psychiatric hospital and that he doesn't want anyone to know. So I basically keep my mouth shut. Well, I told my friend Lorne b/c I had to cancel my plans to go to LA with him, and my dad knew b/c he answered the phone when Chris' mom called, and my mom found out b/c her coworkers saw me and figured out who I was there to see and why, so yeah, a lot of people did know. But I'm digressing.
Eventually Chris calls me from the hospital. I visited him a few times. When he gets out, he's understandably really confused and lonely, so I become Mr. Support. He shows me the scars on his wrist from the razor blade, which would never heal without plastic surgery (but he seemed quite smug in the knowledge that he knew to slice the right way -- lengthwise along the veins, not across them like you see on TV).
We started hanging out in predominately gay coffee shops in Hillcrest a lot. I hung out with his new messed up buddies from the hospital, including the pretty smokin' hot 36-year blond woman who wants to leave her husband for him and who he loses his virginity (well, intercourse-wise). Chris was still sexually "confused" at this point -- he didn't know if he was bi or gay. We saw the San Diego premiere of the Wedding Banquet together (he got free passes from a local DJ he necked with in a car once). I found out alot about gay life, gay issues, and just lots of gay shit. I even bought a book called "Is it a Choice" about being gay and the questions that straight people have about it.
It was all a pretty damn interesting and exciting time in my life. It sure beat sitting around with three or four other sexually repressed Barneys on a Friday night. Sure I wasn't doing anything about getting laid, but I was helping Chris with it.
That was a long summer; Washington State got out in early May, and UCLA didn't begin until late September, so I had almost five full months off with nothing to do except hang with Chris and occasionally work for my pops. But when I finally went off to UCLA, Chris and I lost touch almost immediately. He came up once to LA to go to West Hollywood, and I accompany him on his trip to a dance club there. But I could tell homeboy had changed; always worried about his looks before, he now became obsessed with it the way too many stereotypically gay men do; he spends too much dough on money, trades in his Toyota for a series of cars (he'd rented a 'vette to drive up to LA). He also was living with a tweaker boyfriend who fixed up cars.
I came home two months later for Christmas, and called me up and we chilled once or twice. We hung out a bit, and I find out that he's now dead broke and deeply in debt -- he had blown ALL of his dad's inheritance that he was going to use for college. That wasn't fucking pocket change, either. He also traded in his last car, an old Porsche 944 to help pay off his AMEX bill, which was reaching Mt. Everest-sized proportions. But his grandparents bought him a new Civic and a laptop, b/c they wanted to get him back on the road to college. Lucky bastard. Anyhow, he had seemingly calmed down a lot. We still didn't talk much until I went home for Spring Break the following quarter and he showed up when I was in the shower (insert homo-erotic joke here).
We went out, and things were just different. We didn't connect anymore. He had done a lot of drugs and seemed like he finally had a new plan for his life -- go to UCSD and study psychology. But that was a far cry from the chats we used to have at the Sun Center during lunch when we were 14. That night I went to his friend's place out in the boonies of North County, and I sat around and watched him smoke a j and eat popcorn. THAT really freaked me out. I dunno, it was like I didn't know the guy anymore. At the time, I had never drank or smoked or anything, and so I was doubly freaked out b/c of the joint. So he drove me home, I said I'd call him the next day and I never did and that was the last I ever saw of him.
That Friday I drove to a party at Ray's house and lost a bet and drank booze for the first time, which signaled my fall off the mountain of Impurity. Irony of ironies...
And so that's that. He probably did more to change my life, as far as at least getting me motivated to study and go to college, then anyone else. And that was basically because too many kids wanted to take French 3. Right before I got fired from my old job, I was doing some research and for an attorney and decided to spend a minute with the software I was using to see if I could find him. Just out of curiosity. His new address was about two miles from his parents old condo. It was current through February of this year. I have his phone number as well.
I don't think I'll use it. What would I say? It's a nice area, so it's not like he's strung out or broke or anything. Not like me. After all this time, I still don't feel that worthy.