A friend of mine I’ve known since the 1970s passed this week. Heart attack, in case you were wondering.
I met Martin back when our families were hanging out together, due to being in the same theater group (as our mums eventually wound up becoming life partners, I imagine that was another reason). We continued in Stage Crafters together for years; we both worked in various capacities on Johnny Belinda, Fiddler on the Roof and many others. He was also in my D&D game, which I ran for about a decade. Plus we both read many of the same comics.
We haven’t spoken much in recent years — distance, plus some long-running health problems on his part means the last time we really spoke was at Mum’s funeral — I miss him. And I miss the sense of shared experience with someone else: jokes, pop-culture references, shared history, familiar quirks, all of that. Martin was only a few years younger than me so a lot of our pop-culture experience overlaps; the number of people I can say that about who I’m also still in regular touch with is smaller than it used to be (we scatter hither and yon over time). Even though we didn’t sit and discuss comics much any more, or reminisce about theater experiences, the fact that I can’t do that is … unsettling. It’s much like one of my friends who passed a few years ago; it surprised me how often I’d be thinking “I’ll have to tell him about that when I see him again … oh, crap.”
Martin was a funny guy, a smart guy and a talented actor. He’s far from the first of my friends to die, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
I’d add a photo but I couldn’t find any handy.