I have received e-mails from my readers asking when I am going to write another article. I have been, however, very occupied for almost a Month. I am stepping, for the purpose of this article, out of the usual recommended Examiner guidelines to use Third Person. I have written earlier about my little sister, and about my dog. So, I hope my readers might indulge me.
David Alexander McClure was born on December 31, 1977, in Glendale, California. This was, of course, New Year’s Eve. This date was in the Sign of Capricorn, in the Year of the Serpent. I too was born in the Year of the Serpent, but much earlier, on October 19, 1953. Perhaps this was why Dave and I “clicked”. His mother Named him after the Biblical David and Alexander the Great.
When I met Dave in November, 2003, he was virtually homeless, and had not eaten or slept in Two Days. I fed him, gave him a place to sleep, and then, he ended up staying. In February of 2004, he took ill. He started to cough incessantly, and exhibited bizarre behavior. He spent Four Months in the hospital for tuberculosis. At the same time, he was diagnosed with a mild mental illness. His health was never quite stable after that.
After his release from the hospital, he moved back in with me. He never, however, fully recovered from the damage to his body. He continued to stay with me for the next Ten Years. He took good care of the house, was a wonderful, if at times difficult to understand, companion, and was an amazing amateur cook. He liked a lot of the same music that was popular when I was his age, like the “Doors”, “AC/DC” Janis Joplin, “Steppenwolf” and “Led Zeppelin”.
I have to confess, David was at least partially the inspiration for the character José in my short story “The Legend of Rebecca Stein”, which I wrote while Dave was in the hospital in 2004. He had a mental block against reading, but I often read him my writings aloud. He was a merciless, relentless critic. He would always say, "You know I don't believe in Metaphysics, but I'll listen". He talked me into adding the Word “forever” into Line Seventeen of the “Song of the Nova”.
I dissolve forever sorrow, guilt and pain.
It does not make any sense without the Word “forever”, does it? Dave also insisted on some changes in the grammar in that same poem and encouraged additions to “The Legend of Rebecca Stein”
About Five Months ago, we learned that his mother, Mary Speranza, had passed away in New York. He had been feeling weaker lately, but, after finding about his mother’s passing, he went steadily downhill, and had difficulty walking. He had always had bad circulation in his legs after the tuberculosis, long after it had cleared from his body, and his breathing never really improved.
David Alexander McClure passed away sometime during the wee hours of the night, on the Morning of Friday, March Seventh, 2014, some time between Three and Seven A.M., when I woke up and went to the kitchen. I found him in my living room, sitting up, with a lighter and an unlit cigarette in hands. At first, I thought he had woken up, and, about to smoke a cigarette, fell back asleep. Unfortunately, I was wrong, and he was stiff and icy cold to the touch. He was scarcely thirty-Six Years old.
In the past couple of weeks since his passing, a few strange things have happened. Dave used to wake up in the middle of the Night and use the bathroom. He would always leave the light on, returning to his room. Since his Passing, I have been awakened by the light being left on in the bathroom. Since I am the only witness to these events, you will have either to take my Word that this really took place, or choose to disbelieve.
He had an unusual sense of humor, based on little puns. If someone was mentioned on television whose name was José, Dave would quip, “Hose A? I wonder-where is Hose B?” As his Birthday was New Years Eve, Dave was fond of joking, “People say to me, ‘Happy New Year’, and I say, ‘Happy Birthday!” He would ask someone to pass him his lighter by saying “Lighter?” Someone would hand it to him. He would then pause for effect, look right at you, hold out his hand again and say “Heavier?” If he asked you to do him a favor, and you were busy, he would say, "Did I say, 'How high?'" meaning, "Did I say you should jump?". Sometimes he would tire out easily, when his health was going through ups and downs, and he would “I’m retard,” Instead of “I’m tired.” He would announce that he was gong to bed by saying, “I am heading for my bedding!”
Dave was far from unintelligent, although he would often pretend to be so. He always guessed many answers on “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy”. We often watched “Criminal Minds” and other Detective shows, and he would usually guess the surprise ending ahead of Time. Dave was more than just a room-mate; he was the best friend I ever had. Although I must mourn him, I have to think that the effect with the bathroom light was his way of letting me know that he is okay now, and “heading for his bedding”. His body was cremated this morning, March 19, 2014. His sister, Christina Speranza, will soon have his ashes flown up north, to be laid to rest next to his mother in Albion, New York.
Is there a Metaphysical point to all this? Maybe. Any Time that you may think, that you have a life too short to accomplish anything, think of David Alexander McClure and his Thirty-Six Years. You have plenty of time; learn to use it.