25 November 2008

For my friend Pete

His name was Peter, or just Pete. We met in 2000, when we were setting up the Oak Park Borders at Harlem and Lake. He must’ve been all of 22 or 23. He was this lanky kid, tall and with cheekbones you could cut cheese on.

As typical of me, I would flirt with this young cute boy. Even though I knew he was straight. But Pete, well, he went with the flow. He was easy going, always in a good mood and his love for music would rival another friend of mine.

He was smart, charming and witty. His humor came from a deep well and he was always, always smiling. He married young, and I would tease him relentlessly about it.

But his greatest gift and love was music. I remember when John Mayer’s first CD came out and he kept telling me that is was brilliant and that the kid was going to have a great career. He hounded me until I bought it. So he had an ear for music, and would tell anyone who would listen that this was good, that is was not do good. He was always going to concerts, always, it seemed to me enjoying life.

I had not seen him since I left Illinois in the summer of 2005. Even after he left Borders, I would see him from time to time. Like most employees of Borders, once you work for them, you never ever leave them.

Today I got an email from my friend Marc, another former Borders employee. Marc still has connections with upper BGI music people. He asked if I had known a Pete Merrick who worked at the Oak Park Borders. It took me a moment to think, cause at first I didn’t realize who he was talking about.

And then the tears came.

It seems sometime last week, Pete took his life. He was 31.

I have no idea why or how, but I’m shocked to my toes. Truly, you never think this married man, with a baby son, would do something like this. But when someone does take their life, I’m guessing that’s the first thing you say.

But now, as I think about this, while I’m sad for his family, I’m also sad for myself. I cannot help but think how empty my life will be without Pete Merrick in it.

1 comment:

tornwordo said...

That's sad. Especially for his son.