thoughts on raury

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

just for raury - alyson hanniganAs I mentioned on Monday, Raury has kind of been on my mind since I found out he passed away last week... and obviously the Universe figured it was time I found out more because things just seem to have been falling into place information-wise...

I already covered the whole "found the forum post about him" thing... but I emailed one of the members, somebody who said that they'd been to his funeral, and found out other bits and pieces.

He passed away on 4 March 2006... ten days before my 32nd birthday in fact (and I just worked out that on the night it happened Ma and I were off seeing Il Cielo che Danza the first time around... huh... weird), and by all accounts the funeral went well, lots of people from different parts of his life all coming together. I do wonder if some of the people who I actually introduced Raury to were there... and if they just figured somebody had told me, or else neglected to tell me on purpose. But I know that thinking that way leads to the crazy, plus I'll probably never ever know anyway, so there's not really much point in dwelling on it.

It also turns out that all the folks from the forum put together a memorial plaque that's now sitting on top of a hill in Falls Creek (and I've seen photos of it, it looks highly fitting)... and that seems to be the only physical memorial to his life, since his dad organised to have his ashes scattered at some point after the funeral and didn't tell anyone (as far as I understand).

But at least there's something somewhere that people can toast appropriately...

I just did the math, and I've actually known Raury for around about twelve years... we first met when he started working part time as a computer instructor for the business college I was working for... and interestingly enough I think my very first memory of him (although obviously not the first time we met) was standing in the doorway of the staffroom and (after checking that the corridor outside was clear in both directions) asking him whether or not he was straight...

He'd just dropped some things in conversation over time that made me wonder, I think the name of a gay bar might have come up, I honestly don't remember, but I figured I'd ask. I wasn't the first or last person ever to ask, but for all intents and purposes he was straight.

After I moved out with Ludo, I think he visited us at one point with his then wife... but after that we lost touch again for a while... but since the Universe likes to play with me, he just turned up on our doorstep one evening towards the end of our lease after Ludo and I had been out looking at possible new apartments to move to... it turned out that one of the apartments that we'd looked at just happened to belong to his new girlfriend. Which was interesting in itself because both Ludo and I had commented on how gorgeous this particular girl was after we left... and then she'd described us well enough to Raury that he realised who it was.

Just weird really...

And through me he ended up meeting two other girlfriends, one of which was Lownee (although, to be honest, he was really just a rebound for her after first go around with Ludo)... and the second was Sheba... actually, neither of those relationships worked out terribly well... obviously just proof that I should stop arranging people's love lives, since it never seems to work.

Anyway...

Once I was living here on my own I ended up seeing a whole lot of Raury... we started doing a weekly thing where we would go out on a Friday night, grab some dinner at Fasta Pasta, then swing by The Parade in Norwood for gelati and a random wander up and down the street before coming back into town to "borrow" some internet time at the place he was working... it's always good when you have the keys and access to the boss's office.

Actually that was the place I got my first website (ahhh, Geocities, those were the days), and first started learning HTML... for which Raury gets a big fat thank you, since where would I be now without all that knowledge.

I probably wouldn't even be online either, since it was Raury who built me my first computer from scratch... literally actually... from bits and pieces he had around the workshop and other bits and pieces that I paid for, we cobbled together my first, rather prehistoric computer and got me signed up to the net. Windows 3.11 even... scary stuff...

He was also my mechanic on my two older cars... he installed the car stereo in my first car so I could actually get FM radio, and fixed up the Beemer on more than one occasion... and mostly just out of the goodness of his heart, because other than parts and the occasional dinner here and there I certainly never paid him.

Actually, we did a lot of stuff around food... there was this great place near me (well, not that great actually, it disappeared overnight because I think they went out of business) that we would go to all the time and just confuse and amuse the waiting staff (we did that pretty much everywhere we went to be honest)... partly because we always got them to make us things that weren't technically on the menu (I always had the vegetarian pasta but got them to add peperoni to it, since none of the sauces with meat had enough vegetables in them), and Raury usually had something involving chili...

Then there was the time we went into this gelati place on Rundle Street and since Raury was somewhat lactose intolerant, he went to ask the guy serving us which of the gelatis didn't have milk in them, but he never got any further through the sentence than "Other than the lemon..." before the guy answered him... so that became a catch phrase for us for a long while...

We were all about the catch phrase actually... we shared a lot as far as pop culture was concerned... not only Buffy (and as the pic that accompanies this post shows, he favourite character was Willow... and then Faith a little too, it was the whole evil and skanky thing) but other general randomness like Dawson's Creek (but only in the early years before it got really stupid) and movies like Hackers and Romeo + Juliet...

Although it was more than just those movies, since we did several seasons of Moonlight Cinema in the Botanic Gardens, which I've blogged about once before...

So we had a habit of quoting random lines from things at each other, often at inappropriate moments... and one of the slightly more obscure lines was from a short-lived cartoon series called Duckman... the set up line was "Hummana Hummana Howwa" and then the other person's reply went "Either you're babbling, or you just told me in Cherokee that my scrotum was many coloured"... okay, so maybe it was a time/space joke, you just had to have been there...

Then there were Raury's ever present and ongoing schemes for just about everything... usually ideas for starting up some random small business or other... one year it was an idea about getting some teeshirts printed up (although I forget what we were going to print on them... oh wait, I do remember that I wanted one of the designs to be my favourite emoticon... ;)... actually I'm glad we never went anywhere with that idea, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have sold)... then another year it was for a website for all the businesses on The Parade... actually that idea got further than most, partially because he roped additional people in, a graphic designer friend of his and a guy who specialised in web applications... who, interestingly, turned out to be the guy who supplied the content management system for the place I keep working (and who was also at drinks the other night, which is how this whole story got started)... but in the end it just never happened...

I think he did better when he didn't try and involve other people (or maybe just when he wasn't trying to involve me), because he managed to run a couple of small businesses on the side all on his own in later years.

He was also the reason that I started going back out on the gay scene after years of not wanting to... I think we switched from dinner and stealing internet to dinner and dancing... or maybe we skipped the dinner, I don't remember now... I do remember that we went out to Mars and danced like crazy people for hours at a time...

I just remembered... I have Raury's platform shoes in my wardrobe... original, authentic Windsor Smith leather platform shoes in brown and blue-grey leather from, I think, around the year I was born (ie 1974). He didn't fit into them anymore, and I SO wanted a pair of big chunky platform shoes in my size, but we couldn't find anything anywhere, either in boy or girl sizes, so he lent me his platforms... and man, I wore the crap out of them... literally actually... I think they came apart two or three times and I got them glued back together again... I wore them til my feet were killing me and I couldn't even walk properly anymore... but damn if I couldn't dance like crazy in them. In fact I did the Bus Stop on stage with one of the drag queens in them one night... well, me and three or four other punters, but still...

Don't even get me started on the topic of Raury and big shoes... not only was he a fan of them on other people (slightly skanky, vaguely gothic, particularly redheaded female people)... but because he had little girly feet he managed to squash them into more than a few pairs of actual women's shoes... one pair of black platform Fuck Me Boots and a pair of white platform slides which actually looked damn cool the New Years Eve he wore them with pinstripe pants and, I think, a white sleeveless top... too cool.

The later years of the story between Raury and I are all mixed up with the story of Sheba and I, and that's a whole other story by itself, but it's enough to say that while I probably saw him more often after Sheba came into our collective lives, I think I actually saw less of him, if that makes sense... and in some regards I became a third wheel, which is never a fun feeling.

During that time was also the point where Raury took up snowboarding, and after one season where he sent Sheba a postcard from the snow, but not me (and they weren't dating at the time) I gave him crap about it... so the following season (or maybe even later the same season when he went back up to the snow) he sent me a postcard every single day, each one with a single word on it, spelling out a message. I can't actually remember what the message was... I think maybe it was something along the lines of "This time I didn't forget the postcards" (which of course is a paraphrase of the Looney Tunes cartoon line, "This time I didn't forget the gravy")...

And after the breakdown of the relationship between Raury and Sheba, I ended up not really siding with Sheba I guess, but seeing more of her than him for one reason or another... and then, because the Universe never passes up a chance to mess with me, my relationship with Sheba kind of faded away, and I was left with nobody...

When he did finally come back into my life again he'd already gotten sick, and I was blogging, so I pretty much blogged about the whole thing... from the mysterious phone message (and I just realised I gave a pretty concise, if not overly generous, version of our friendship in that post too), to going out for hot chocolate with him and then just hanging out with him and watching movies... and then the final email...

That last email I sent him actually pretty much summed up our relationship...

"Luck. Wish. Pray. Deity. Hug.

Whichever of these is most appropriate... I'm all over it..."


RIP Raury...

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5 comments:

yaniboy Thursday, July 19, 2007 9:44:00 pm  

Lord no...

Not the way I think you're referring to love anyway.

Nodrin King Saturday, July 21, 2007 1:55:00 pm  

sorry if i offended you...i'm just being realistic...he had moved on, so must you...i'm sure he also wants you to look forward to start a new chapter of your life and live happily...

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