Dog Eaters

Sometimes memories get scrambled

Posted on 05.07.14 4:53AM under departed friends

I heard that an old friend died today.

I last saw him 25 years ago at his ex-wife’s house in Kailua. He was driving a leased black Mustang. The new girlfriend stayed in the car.

I remember an extravagant Kobe steak dinner he treated me to in Kyoto when he was living high on the hog — but on credit. He had taken a crazy jump from a cozy tenured position as an art teacher to start up a windsurfing company that never got off the ground. He told me going public was like printing money. Boy was I impressed. He was going from printing lithographs and intaglio to dollar bills. He was our teacher. I didn’t understand what money was back then. I know better now. We all do…

He ended up an alcoholic who robbed a bank in downtown Honolulu and then went to a bar a block away on Hotel Street to get a drink. When the TV behind the bartender showed the surveillance camera photo of him at the teller, he was busted.

He must have wanted to get caught.

At least that’s what I remember. Jumbled conversations that might be true. Uncertain contextual misunderstandings, outright lies. His heart’s desire an ambition that was 50% illusion, 50% macho bluff — a perfectly crazy dream.

Russell, I choose to remember you as you were before, when you were golden. RIP…

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