I do hair.
My clients are so important to me, not because they pay my bills, but because we spend time together talking and sharing and, well, being friends.
Tonight one of my poor clients was the bearer of some terrible news: Gary Wilburn is dead. I'm glad she was the one to tell me, though, because she is a loving and kind person, and it would have been awful to read about it in the black and white of the local paper, or worse, to not know at all and just think that I'd done something and he'd moved to another stylist.
He was a favorite. We talked about everything - our kids, our ex lovers, our present lovers, our LIVES - and he had appointments scheduled into 2015 that I can't bear to scratch from my book. He was a great friend, like so many of my clients.
He was not an old man. He was 57, and he was busy, you know, LIVING and doing everything he could to enjoy his life. He loved his kids fiercely, wanted to make sure his employees were happy and safe at work, and was really enjoying his time with his girlfriend. He admired her and loved her but, more importantly, he really liked her. They had fun, and I'm glad she could give him that, because he'd had some not-so-good experiences before (not that he didn't own up to his own part of that not-so-good; he was a realist and he knew his part in his past experiences).
His motorcycle...I know he was excited to be riding that weekend, because I cut his hair that week, and I guess I need to look at it like this: He died doing something he loved. He wasn't some old man hooked up to a machine, eating applesauce in a nursing home. He was young and happy and knew that he had a great life.
That's the way to go, right?
Anyway, good bye, Gary. Thank you for the great talks and the champagne when I opened Illuminate and the wine when times were tough. Thank you for the many doses of reality and the compliments and the being so present. I'm glad I was able to be a part of your life. I'm glad I could make you laugh with my stories. You were a good man. The world is a little less...well, yeah, the world is just a little less without you.