Sunday, July 24, 2016

Stacy Gee and JT: A Fool's Overture

The last time I saw Stacy Gee, 30 years ago this month I've just realized (but who's counting), we spent the afternoon getting baked and then submitted her stool sample to the lab.
If that's not an awesome topic sentence, I don't know what is. Anyway, I was reminded of good old Stacy Gee the other night whilst here at the lake, as I was reading an anthology of Shirley Jackson's short stories (since I never blog anymore, none of all y'all have any idea how obsessed I've become with Shirley Jackson, but I'll save that story for a rainy day). But back to the topic at hand; I was reading this short story by Shirley Jackson and in the story, it was pissing down rain, big time. Not cold winter rain or torrential autumn rain, but just annoying rain - rain which, to me, brought back memories of random BC summer rains. You see, rain on the prairies in the summer is either a result of storms or a cold front. In BC? The rain just pisses down whenever the hell it wants to. And on this day in July 1986? The rain decided to intermittently piss down just because. 
So anyway, the rain in the story reminded me of summer rain in Bc, and blah blah blah I started thinking about the last time I saw Stacy because it was that kinda day.
I suppose you want me to back up and explain who Stacy is, what with her dope and poop samples, right? Well here ya go:
Stacy was in my grade one class and lived just down the road from me. Had I posted this yesterday, I bet you dollars to donuts that Chunks would've driven by her house and posted pics to get the visuals, as she was in the Lower Mainland  this morning, but my life is always the story of being a day late and a dollar short. Anyway, across from my house sort of was this dead end street and Stacy lived at the end of it, with her oldest sister Rochelle and her brother Randy and her parents. Stacy was the youngest and was, essentially, treated like a princess. You know how I was spoiled? Well, I looked like the Jan Brady of the Von Trapp children compared to her. Case in point: I'm sure Stacy occupied the master bedroom of her family's house. It was a bungalow, but on the small side, with the front door leading to the living room and the kitchen and dining room beyond, and only two (not three) bedrooms down the hallway. The kicker was that the front of the house had the main shitter and a bedroom occupied by Randy, and the opposite side of the hall was just a bedroom occupied by Stacy, with velour wallpaper and a dimmer switch light fixture. It was cutesy as hell, with the only canopy bed I've seen in real life. Stacy's parents slept in this windowless attic off the dining room (over top the carport garage I think). Her parents were interesting, apart from the attic room. Mr Gee was named Monty and him and Barbara wore matching siwash jackets, both chain smoked Cameo cigarettes, and, to the delighted cackles of my mother, both dyed their hair the same artificial shades of chestnut and tony'ed their hair the same kinkiness. Monty, bless his soul, was as feminine as JM J. Bullock, and prissy as fuck. The oldest sister, Rochelle, was about seven years older than Stacy and eventually drove a yellow Camaro or Firebird or one of those Trans-Am looking cars. Every time I hear "Head Games" by Foreigner, I still immediately think of her, as I remember her buying that 8 track, and I now think how short changed she got, as that album sucked (even though the title track is still good) and I hope Foreigner 4 made up for the money she spent. Anyway, Rochelle somehow ended up dating this guy named Mike who somehow had no place to live so he lived in their basement when they were I grade 10 or so. Their basement was so fucking cool - it was the only place I ever saw a real playroom, and I admit I modelled my own playroom at home after it once I had kids and my own home. The rumpus room part had a whole wall of shelves filled with toys. The rest of the basement was a shitter, Rochelle's room, and an area with Mike's bed. Rochelle was cool and so was Mike. Randy was a dork who joined the cadets and started smoking Peter Jackson cigarettes. 
So anyway, in grade one, Stacy and I must've been friends a but because I have a memory of going to her house one Friday after school in December and eating Xmas baking and playing and being reassured by familiarity when her sister cranked Supertramp's "Fool's Overture". I remember getting a headache and was glad when my sister came to get me after 6, and walking home in the falling snow, only to get home and realize I had a fever and strep throat and was going to miss playing in the it snow that might fall that year. Anyway, it's still a vivid memory. 
So Stacy and I were friendly and played together a bit - enough to know that she liked to eat raw potatoes which I was sure was going to give her worms (from what Marion Cunningham told Joanie once), and that their Maytag dryer buzzed really scarily when it was done. But we weren't like Margaret and Gretchen and Janie and Nancy, you dig?
Well fast forward to after I moved in grade 6. I don't wanna rehash what went down during July 84, after grade 8, when I came back to visit and suddenly realized my two best friends for life wouldn't be bothered to cross the street to piss on me if I were on fire. Long story short? I was devastated and may have actually cried a bit as I walked through my old hometown thinking "I've got no friends at my new home, and my lifelong friends here that I always Hold as talismans are no longer going to cut it, so I'm just alone and should jump in the slough and drown ". Of course, I am too controlling to drown, so that really wasn't an option, but I was feeling sorry for myself. However, for some reason, I decided to seize the fucking day and picked up the goddamn phone and called Stacy. Well. Bitch was ecstatic to hear from me. Even better? We had do much I fucking common now, it was freaky!  We both loved new wave, Prince, and, get this - our favorite band was Berlin! I had yet to meet anyone who knew who they were! We hung out constantly for a week, with her cool friend Sherry and her boyfriend Robert and his friend Paul. We all went to the mall and bought ear clips and it was so awesome!! My ear clip eventually turned my ear green, but it was all good. During this time, Stacy was having some hard times with her Dad Monty, and she said "he's not even my real dad", saying her dad was dead and her folks married when she was little. That shit freaked me out, and Monty hated Robert because he was brown (Philiipino maybe) and because he caught him talking to Stacy outside her window. Anyway, there were rifts.
And then we left, not to return for two years.
So I rolled back I to town in 86, after finally assimilating to Saskatchewan and having friends and a life, and even reconnecting with one of my bff's who was a scumbag and ditched me two years previous. However, I was more than anxious to connect with Stacy, my Berlin loving friend. I called her and she was excited to hear from me. She said she'd pick me up at my sister's place (she had her licence by then),and I immediately knew things were different when she picked me up. Gone were Robert and Paul and their make-up wearing (Duran Duran wannabes), and gone was Sherry. She was consumed by some new boyfriend I can't remember the name of. First thing she asked me was of I liked to get high. I said of course, and she smiled and opened this odd case on her keychain and out rolled these little nuggets that looked like shit balls. She said her boyfriend was selling all this hash and she was helping him. I wasn't an experienced hash smoker and she asked me for one of my du Maurier Light King sized and then rolled a joint with the tobacco and the hash and with this wire in it, like a straightened paper clip, which I thought was genius. So we smoked this really smooth joint thing with the wire (which I hope doesn't give me asbestosis or something in a few years), and then she says she's gotta go to the lab and drop off a shit sample because she's got salmonella from the restaurant she waitresses at. For some reason we go to the restaurant and her dad Monty is the maƮtre d there, and we visit and then we go to the lab where she poops and scrapes it with a toothpick and delivers it in a tube not unlike Mike Brady's architecture plans cases. We then go to the mall and then Robin's Donuts where she fills me in on everyone from grade school and tells me about Lara Selkirk, my first girlfriend and how she was off the rails. I end up going back to my sister's, and Stacy calls me the next day to see if I want to buy some of the boyfriend's hash for 30 bucks. I say I'm broke and we've never talked again.
Of course,I've always wanted to know what happened to Stacy and it doesn't look like she graduated, hut with a common name like hers, there's no google on her, and everyone I ask is vague, saying "I think she works at a camp or something up north." Long story short, I end up googling Monty one night in the local paper and see he died and was survived by Stacy with a funny last name. Either that, or I fb'd Rochelle and looked at her friends and found Stacy and THEN found the obit - I don't remember. But anyway, I found out Stacy is married to a Mexican, has a son, and lives in the heart of Mexico. Of course, I can't friend her, because I'll look like a stalker, what with the convoluted way if finding her. But I'm thankful for her in ways she'll never realize for saving my life in grade 8, when I needed a friend and found one. In grade 10? Smoking hash and dropping off poop samples wasn't my idea of fun really, but by then, I didn't need her like I did two years before. But I want to say her life wasn't as easy as I initially thought, and even though we haven't talked in literally 30 years, every time Head Games comes on classic radio or I spin a Berlin album, I think of her and smile and silently thank her. 
And now you know the rest of the story.


At 10:56 AM, Anonymous james said...

Yes! This is what we wait so patiently for. Great flashback and insight into your formative years, love your narrative style, keep it coming!

At 11:49 PM, Blogger JT said...

I just found her! Talked for hours tonight!!


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