Today I read through an issue of Stomp and Stammer, as I do every month. I didn't know a thing about most of the bands this month, I've downloaded none of the songs mentioned, I've gone to very few shows, I'd seen none of the movies reviewed. Instead, the only thing I knew in the entire fucking issue was the dude mentioned in the local music news, the 61-year old former Creative Loafing music editor who killed himself, Joe Roman.
I didn't know Joe well. But he was so gentle and kind, and always so nice to me when I'd run into him. We met at a party long ago when I ran into, quite literally, a screen door. Walked right through it I'm so nearsighted, especially having smoked mountains of whatever party favors were going around that day in the early eighties.
I turned around to see just who I had completely embarrassed myself in front of, and it was Joe. He was smiling at me. Not laughing. Just smiling. We talked for a while after that, and on other occasions out and about. He was one of the quietest, nicest people I've ever met. And to think he was a music critic. Kind and nice and music critic will likely never go together that way again.
I fought back tears for the longest time today, thinking about Joe and his inglorious end as Ava and I sat at Whole Foods, me reading and staring out the window, she mangling sushi and smiling to herself. Prosperity all around us, but none of it did much for Joe. Does it do anything for any of us, all that pretty stuff in stores? I don't think about or remember food products much, but I'd thought, always fondly, of Joe.