You’re Gonna Miss Me


Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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14 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph says:

    I’m sorry Rufus. I have known many Petes too. People should have the freedom to do what they want, but God I wish people were more cautious about some of those things. Alcohol can be insidious*, and addiction to it has taken (is still taking) more people from me than has any other intoxicant.

    *I realize that it’s the *addiction*, not the substance itself that is the true problem; and if the legal regime and the economics of different substances were different, it could just as well have been something else. But in my world, it’s booze that has racked up the biggest body count.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Glyph says:

      True. I’ve also noticed that addiction always comes with something else. None of the addicts I’ve known would have been fine if they’d never used whatever it was they were using. The alcoholics were sort of like Camus’s “absurd man” where the pains of an absurd existence seemed to hit them especially hard.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Rufus F. says:

        Very true, but disentangling the addiction from the root cause (often, depression) can be so difficult, because of the synergistic nature of addiction and depression. “I hate myself, so I use, to feel better; then in the morning, when I remember (or am told) what I did last night, I hate myself even more; so I use, to feel better…” and so forth.

        My grandfather ended up using a gun to end his own life, but the bottle would have done the trick before too much longer anyway.

        And who knows, without the (very temporary) relief from psychic pain the bottle may have given him, maybe he would have checked out sooner.Report

  2. My condolences, Rufus.

    It is good to know that Pete was loved throughout his troubled life. I don’t think I’ve had to deal with many people suffering from alcoholism during my life, but much of the destructive behaviour you write about (as well as the quips about being in the music scene) ring true.

    This is a lovely tribute to your friend.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Oof. I am blessed to have forgotten what it is like to have dear friends self-destruct in front of me despite trying everything I know how to do to “fix” them. The way life turned out, I went this way and they went that way (or stayed where they were) and I hear about them from time to time.

    Some of the stories have you thinking “there’s only one way that this ends” and that’s always a punch to the gut.

    I’m sorry, Rufus. I wish the world were different.Report

  4. A couple of non-serious comments that I hope are in tune with the overall tenor of this post:

    1. I was in a band once where there was a serious discussion (or, at least, serious for one person) about whether or not we would be willing to open up for Our Lady Peace (or maybe it was I Mother Earth). I don’t actually remember which side I came down on; Mainly, I just thought that would be a nice problem to have. Well, mainly I thought the discussion was a stupid giant waste of time.

    2. I have consumed Steeler. It is not good.

    (And a serious aside: I had a friend (who I was ever-so-briefly in a band with) who started drinking Steeler with alarming regularity. At the time, all of us drank with a good deal of frequency, but the ever-present Steelers were emblematic of a greater problem. This friend was drinking too much, spending to much money on booze (hence the need for cheap beer) and really needed more direction. I don’t know if he every fell into alcoholism. I don’t think so, but many of us were quite worried (and some of our friends would chat with him about it). He has, thankfully, found some direction. And, though he still drinks frequently, he has a career, healthy(ier) relationships and hasn’t lived in his parent’s house in a long long time.)Report

    • It is one of those brands where you almost have to be an alcoholic to drink it because it’s cheap and high volume. I remember he used to show up for practices sauced and say “I only had three beers!” Which is something like a gallon of beer with those things.Report

  5. Avatar Chris says:

    My condolences.Report

  6. Avatar zic says:

    I’m so sorry, Rufus.

    I don’t know the answer to alcoholism, and it’s cost me dearly, too. The regulars who’ve hung out at places my sweetie plays — one, a jazz pianist, would sit down at the piano on breaks and after the gig, and play these incredible, lush chords that nobody could figure out; but he could never play a head all the way through. Others just lost their chops, and nobody would call them for gigs anymore.

    And then there’s my step-sister, four years my senior (and a Senior Goddess to my freshman geek). Her alcoholism became obvious in her mid-20’s, which meant it had been a problem for a while. At 38, she went on a binge (that’s a binge from her normal intake), and shut first her liver and and then her kidneys down and died.

    You’re descriptions of the band scene, and how people get together and it turns from fun to formal are spot on.

    My only ‘huh?’ is this:
    Likewise, he never actually wrote guitar solos,.

    That’s the sign of someone who can improvise. I’m so used to it, so surrounded by it, that everyone once in a while, somebody says something like that, and I’m taken aback; because improvising isn’t what it is to many people. And most people in the audience don’t know the difference, let alone care.Report

  7. Avatar Maribou says:

    This post meant a lot to me. I’m sorry for your loss.Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I don’t know if this will help or if it’s too soon, but here’s a James Thurber story about one of Pete’s soul brothers,Report