10/27/2015 – Looking for Daylight

I really don’t want to make two depressing entries in a row.

Hilden died two years ago today. There’s nothing I can do to change that, but I can try not to be completely miserable every year on October 27th. I can try not to wallow in it. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to ignore my feelings, bury my head in the sand and pretend nothing happened. It just means that I’m not going to feel obligated to sit in a pile of shit every year on this day.

Instead, Moe and I are going to take my kids to the pumpkin patch, pick out some big-ass pumpkins, and carve stupid faces on them. We’ll probably have a beer or two (even though I’m still recovering from the weekend), eat some food and laugh with my family. And then I’m going to go to bed and wake up to October 28th.

It sounds like I’m trying to convince myself, doesn’t it?

Ah well. I try.

I miss you, man. Always will.

-John

10/26/2015 – Sweet Relief

Through the haze of a two day old hangover I’d like to recount the events of Saturday night.

The movie premiere in Merrill was amazing. It was the second time this month that I was overwhelmed with joy and appreciation for all of my friends and family. Getting to this point, the point of actually finishing this insane project we had been working on for years, could not have been possible without their support and encouragement. And Saturday night, as I sat in that dark room listening to all those people laugh at our crude jokes and the ridiculous situations our on-screen heroes got themselves into, it was almost too much for me. The lights went up, Moe and I thanked everyone for coming, and I bolted out the back door to catch some air and clear my head.

Hilden wasn’t there to enjoy it. And for the first time in months, that fact really came crashing down on me. The three of us had talked about making a movie for years before we actually started filming and Hilden worked his ass off, during the most difficult time in his life, to see it through. It’s no secret that Hilden was going through a divorce, and the summer of 2012 was the most miserable I’d ever seen our friend. The filming was often sidetracked by the fact that he had real and heavy shit to deal with. But he pushed through it. How he found the strength to do it, I don’t know. He was able to not only stand behind the camera and guide us along through the project, but appear on camera, saying some of the most ridiculously over-the-top lines in the entire film. And, between takes, he’d say, “Would it be funnier if I did this?” and proceed to make us laugh hysterically with some new idea.

So Saturday night, I stood outside for ten minutes thinking about all of that. It was tough. But I went back inside to see nearly every person that I care about in the whole world standing there talking, laughing, hugging, and enjoying the evening. As I mingled, said my thank yous and gave my hugs, I knew that I wasn’t the only one missing our friend. Honestly, it was too overwhelming. So I drank. And I drank. I estimate that I yelled “Don Cheechio!” at least a dozen times. By the end of the night, I was sitting down on a sidewalk trying not to puke on myself. Not my finest hour. But I’d like to imagine that he would have been cool with it. He’d grab a towel, wipe the puke off my face, gather Moe and Klaus over and say, “Nice job, guys.”

-John

Last Week

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