I hope you will forgive me a post of a more personal nature, although it does touch upon pop culture. This morning my best friend Brian passed on. It was about three weeks ago that Brian's wife found him unconscious on the floor. When he awakened at hospital he was suffering from dementia. He had been in various hospitals and a nursing home ever since. This past Friday had given us some hope, as he had recovered from the dementia. Unfortunately this morning he was not responding and so he was rushed to hospital. He died shortly thereafter.
I had met Brian while still at university through the group with which we played Dungeons and Dragons. We shared an interest in comic books, movies, and television. In fact, Brian's knowledge of pop culture matched my own, although we had our specialities. Brian knew more about classic films and Silver Age comic books than I did. I knew more about classic television and Golden Age comic books than he did. In many respects we complimented each other well.
It was with Brian I usually watched movies. This was not a simple case of two friends going to the movies, as we would also seek out classic films on television or rent them from 9th Street Video in Columbia, a store with a vast array of classic films on VHS and later DVD. Together we watched for the first time such films as The Crowd (1928), Force of Evil (1948), La Dolce Vita (1948), and too many others to name. The fact is that the majority of classic films I have seen, I may well have seen with Brian.
Indeed, Brian and I could spend hours talking about classic films, television shows, and so on. It was through Brian that I got hooked on The Wire. It was through me that Brian that I got hooked on Mad Men. I introduced Brian to the Doc Savage novels. He introduced me to the "Harry Potter" series. As two pop culture addicts sharing TV shows, movies, and books was a means of sharing ourselves. It was very rare that we disagreed on a particular movie or TV show, although there were a few instances. Brian loved Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), a movie I detest to this day.
Of course, Brian differed from me in some ways. While I am a total technophile, Brian had trouble programming his own VCR. In fact, my brother or I had to set up most of the VCRs, DVD players, and even computers he owned. I was rather surprised that he figured out how to use his DVR all by himself. He never had a web site or blog, much less a MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter account.
Brian was a very creative individual. In fact, he had written a screenplay which he had never bothered to market. Together we had talked about ideas for various television shows and movies. One idea for a television show we even had about two seasons' worth of episodes outlined. I rather suspect if Brian had been in the position to do so, he could have been a success in the entertainment industry.
Brian was not simply a fellow pop culture expert, however, as he was also a good friend. If I did not have money to go to a movie he would pay my way in, just as I would pay his way in if he did not have money. Neither of us ever kept particularly good track of who owed whom. He was always there if someone close to me died or if a relationship had just ended or I had lost a job. I could always rely on Brian for support.
Today I feel as if I have lost a brother, even though Brian and I were not related by blood at all. In fact, the only reason I am even able to write this is because I have already spent much of the day crying. I know that I will shed more tears in the days to come. I will always miss Brian and I will never forget him.