living out loud

Gary didn’t much believe in the afterlife.
He didn’t.
He wasn’t a spiritual type.

He played the stock market, and often described events and people in ‘market’ terms.

He believed in living in the moment, being completely and utterly true to his word, and living life fully. He was cool and sexy and rode a motorcycle, and owned a hugely successful bar (actually two) in New York City and had a bunch of young and sexy girlfriends – as in ‘gold bullion digging’ young, sexy girls – who didn’t have a clue how lucky they were that they were with him, because, well, he had a wonderful big gigantic heart. They didn’t care much about that because what they saw was the long hair, and the sexy face, and the gorgeous eyes, and the Harley Davidson that was parked outside the Bar, and of course, they saw the Bar with the cash register that went ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching every single minute on every single night, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights when you couldn’t even get into the Bar because it was so crowded. I asked him once, while a few young sexily clad women were draped and hanging all over him, what it felt like to be Mick Jagger, he said, “Good, real fucking good. This pays dividends.”

Gary died in a motorcycle accident. But before he died in a motorcycle accident, he went to the Caribbean, where his boat capsized and he was all alone, literally, in the middle of the ocean, clinging to both his life for four days, and a new found God, and it appeared that God found him, and he, Gary, said he remembered so much while his skin was literally baking in the sun: every nuance of his life flashed in front of him. He begged for forgiveness, he screamed at injustice, he wept at his horrible relationship with his parents, he was pissed at himself that he let the one girl he loved get away, he was out-loud livid that two of his close friends screwed him out of money, he was grateful that he could build a bar, and refurbish all the rooms in his gorgeous townhouse with his bare hands, he was deeply appreciative that he was generous and kind and that he truly deeply loved life. And he also, while baking in the sun, remembered that a psychic told him that he would die before he was fifty, and that in fact his death would be categorized as two fold, because he would actually “die twice.”
“What fucking bullshit. No one can die twice.”
He swore that the psychic ‘broad’ was completely nuts, “a fucking fruitcake.”

So, while he was both clinging to life and the capsized boat, he made a deal with God, to let him live just a little longer so he can make sure that he said good bye properly to all the folks he loved.

He lived just another year.

And in that year he prayed everyday to God, he went to church, he became a born-again, he found peace and faith, he gained weight, and met a woman who was close to his age and had some poundage, and one could even categorize her as an Earth Mother, and what was most beautiful about her was in fact her spirit and her laugh and the lines around her eyes. I told him she was the sexiest woman he had ever been with. “Yeah,” he said, “This one’s a triple AAA rating.”

And in that year he managed to tell everyone he loved that he loved them all dearly and with all his heart. And a few folks who screwed him royally, he told them to rethink their lives. And a couple of the girls who draped themselves over him, he managed to tell them to stop hanging on to men, stand tall, and don’t give it away to some schmuck who has a wad of money and no intent on ever getting married.

He was killed in a motorcycle accident. Coming home from Long Island on one of those long crazy summer weekends.

He would tell you, if he were alive, that yes, that was in fact called two fold, and the first time he died – clinging to life on a capsized boat – that in fact it was he who saved himself, but he gave all the credit to God, because he made a deal, and Gary never reneged on a deal.

Category: Uncategorized 15 comments »

15 Responses to “living out loud”

  1. Linda Lichtman

    Beautiful! I have goose pimples. Thank you for sharing Gary.

  2. Hannah Kozak

    You have a gift of story telling and a way of conveying the only thing that truly matters, love and forgiveness. It’s how our species continues. I was able to get the gift of Gary as a bonus.Thank you for sharing this Amy.

  3. melody george

    WOw!!! wow wow wow! There is nothing else I can say..nothing else that fits..but I get the message..oh boy..I get the message…and i sure get what a heck of a fabulous writer you are…I get that loud and clear. wow. you take my breath away.

  4. georgie scarpato

    Great story as usual Amy……all the more reason to fill the world with love… matter how many chances you get to do it….don’t let the chance to open your heart pass you by!!

  5. Caroline

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Madge Woods

    I know a lot of Gary’s and I hope they find the peace they want without death and having to ask for forgiveness. I am glad he found his redemption and I am glad you shared him.

  7. Beverlee Peters

    Wow! This brought tears to my eyes. You are such an amazing, AMAZING writer Amy! Thank you for sharing Gary. What a strong, beautiful message.

  8. Hollye Dexter

    A gorgeous story Amy. I’m sure Gary is up there, very pleased right now that so many of us are touched by his story.


  9. Maxee

    Wonderful wonderful story and definitely needs to be shared. Soooooooooooo, I posted on my FB wall. Hope everyone reads it and learns the life lesson.
    I’m sure Gary is giving his blessing.

  10. Susan Coppage Evans

    Beautiful Amy. Really beautiful. Don’t you think he died twice – once to himself – of his -SELF and once of his body? I hope I don’t have to cling to a capsized boat to let go of myself. But maybe that is what the spiritual journey is: getting our self into deep doo doo, into hot water, into cold water, in the hot sun, clinging, letting-go, baking our self out.

    Love you! Susan

  11. Barbara@TheMiddleAges

    So beautiful. Don’t we all on some level wish for this kind of life — living large and true and honest and real, full of love and surrounded by love??? I bow to Gary. Thanks for telling his story so beautifully well. xo

  12. Amy Wise

    …..and this one made me cry. Stunning.

  13. Cheryl Moseley

    Beautifully shared. I’ve know lots of Garys in my lifetime. Live fully, passionately, authentically. Thank you, Amy.

  14. Dolores

    That is insanely beautiful. You should write the book of Gary’s life.

  15. Donald Sanders

    Gary might not have cared much for the afterlife but you sure cared about him. A man could not ask for a better eulogy than this, it is absolutely, on the spot, lovely. Now I have to wait for your next post-hurry up.

Leave a Reply


Back to top