Sunday, June 26, 2022

Larry Davidson


Maybe memory is like this:

Every second that passes lays down a clear sheet one can see right through. It does not obstruct one's view back into the past to what happened minutes ago. But with time there are so many layers. And looking through the thousands of layers of our history it grows cloudier and cloudier. Soon only the brightest, sharpest, and most well-defined moments of our lives are at all visible or distinct as we peer down among the endless, obscuring lamination.

History slowly makes us blind.

My dear friend Grape sent me a picture of a long ago old friend, Larry Davidson. Larry Davidson had a one man show that Grape went to see. Grape told me nice things about the show, measured things, but very positive.

I didn't really recognize the skinny, funny kid I knew as a 14-year-old in this lumpy picture of a modern day Larry Davidson. 

Or I sort of did? 

Though the picture was perfectly clear, it was all so blurry, and cloudy, and fogged with time.

I was good friends with Larry Davidson from maybe 1976 to 1980. He was the funniest kid I knew in Middle School and High School. He once went to school dressed as Jesus, carrying a cross with him.

Jesus is always funny. Have I told you the Goldstein's Nails joke?

Maybe another time then.

I am now going to tell you all I remember, all I can see down there, of Larry Davidson. It will take less time than my introduction. Underneath this pittance of murky memory I have a feeling. Strange, vague, affectionate, dry, just beyond my reach, a feeling for and about Larry Davidson, buried under the lost shapes of history, invisible to the eye. 

I can't tell you that feeling. I don't know how. 

So I just have this impossibly small, nearly meaningless list of... things about Larry Davidson. Some of them might not even be accurate. But here they are.

1. Larry's dad was a doctor.

2. Larry had two younger sisters.

3. Larry's house backed out onto the upper fields of our High School.

4. Larry was the first person to tell me about Star Wars, saying it was this amazing movie that people waited in line for hours to watch over and over. He may have watched it over and over.

5. Larry was the first person I knew who had a computer, and his was the first computer I ever played on. We played a space conquering game where when you attacked a planet the computer could take hours, even days to calculate the battle. While it did this the computer couldn't be used.

6. Larry was friends with Matt Behrens, but I never understood how much he was friends with Matt Behrens.

7. Larry's birthday may have been in late August.

And that is everything I can tell you about Larry Davidson.

It is not much.

But it is more than he will tell you about me in his one-man show.

So there's that.

1 comment:

  1. Very poetic and reflective thoughts. It's funny...I drove to Los Angeles to see an old college friend who was visiting, and having had some physical limitations these past years, the trip made me a little nervous, but ended up going splendidly tho it took a bit out of me. So, with that, I thought it would be fun and new for my wife and I to 1. Go to LA again a week later and have lunch and 2. See Larry's show about his near-death experience. Until I saw him onstage I had not seen Larry in 40 years, and in fact met his daughter outside before the performance. I too live with Larry as a memory, as a funny and smart and risk-taking guy. The man onstage touched that memory in the sense that he was unconventional and creative, and it felt good to support his creativity and go out to Melrose Avenue where everyone was young and very good looking and carrying shopping bags from hip stores! Anyway, I wonder if the personality tendency/memory applies....what am I saying...if the memory of liking Larry would carry itself over time into present-day Larry. Our time was short, as many people wanted his attention, but we took a nice picture and hugged and it was a nice way to spend the day.


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