I just heard (through email yet) that my friend Rick is dead. I feel sick. My face feels numb. I’m so fucking sad, I have so many regrets where he is concerned. For example, I never got a chance to know him better than I did. I had a party last Saturday and surprisingly, Rick came. I never expected him to show up. He’s one of the most reclusive people I know, not a person who invites you to hang out with him at his house (I’ve known him since 1994 and have never seen his apartment). I was so happy to see Rick; I spent most of the evening talking to him, from around 10 to five-thirty am. We talked about our similar taste in watches, past indiscretions, past misunderstandings. It was probably the deepest conversation I’ve ever had with him. I even admitted that I wrote a blog, but neglected to give him the address because I was afraid of him just seeing me as a dilettante (he wrote for an electronics magazine and was one of the smartest people I knew). I was never sure of where I’d see him next. Sometimes it was at a show, sometimes I would quickly see him riding his bike on the street, or would run into him at the movies, spotting his baseball cap in the fourth row. He was in great shape, he wasn’t sick, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t do drugs. I don’t know what happened to him and neither did the people who did the autopsy. And I was one of the last people to see him alive, apparently. He said goodnight to me at 5:30 on Sunday morning and passed on sometime between then and Tuesday. The next to last time I saw him we drank and drank at the Lakeside, then got hungry. So we went to a Japanese restaurant at 4am and he literally begged on his knees for the manager to let us get some food. He ordered everything for us and it was all delicious, especially the clams steamed in sake. One of my other biggest regrets, I never took a decent picture of him. I only have this picture of his back in San Francisco before he took off his motorcycle helmet. Before then he would cover his face or turn away whenever I tried to take his picture. This was the closest I got. I’m so sorry I never got any closer. Godspeed, Rick. I miss you already.