Voodoo Dating: My So-Called Life
There are people in my life whom I feel deserve an honourable mention; while they are not among the top 3.75 most influential people I know, my existence sure wouldn’t be as checked without them. If not at the top, he’s certainly right up there, is Patrick David Harrison. (Smattering of applause from those who know Pat.)
Pat Harrison was the reason I got out of bed during my Junior and Senior years of High School. He was a pretty charismatic combo of Led Zeppelin, JD Salinger, Kurt Douglas, and still remains the only Boy I know who can pull off cackling without sounding like a crow running through a meat grinder.
While I was never in love with Pat, I did think he hug the moon when we were in High School. (If you’ve ever caught an episode of My So-Called Life, Pat was kinda Jordan to my Angela. Except, unlike Jordan, Pat was way smarter than a dishtowel.) The things that came out of that kid’s mouth were both wonderful and unbelievably weird. And I remember almost all of them.
Once, Pat and I were dishing about my Boyfriend, who was kind of treating me like a crumball, he shot me a pretty good Pat look (Pat had great ‘looks’ he doled out) and said, ‘You’re beautiful. And not just physically.’ Which, right there, should earn his honourable mention.
My Senior Prom (served at a small airport in the Old Country-when you care enough to book the very best), I was chatting with Pat and he asked me if I was wearing that particular dress because I was pregnant. I asked him if he was high.
Once, while driving, Pat opened his window and threw up on the outside of my Jeep. When the two of us hit up a self car wash, I accidentally sprayed him near the eye. Pat ran around the car wash yelling, ‘I’M MELTING, I’M MELTING!’
A few years after High School, I was back in MI for a Winter holiday and taking a little night jaunt to see a friend. I noticed the car behind me was flashing it’s lights and the driver was widely waving their arms, so much so that they were weaving towards oncoming traffic. Of course, the rational side of me said, ‘I should pull over and see exactly how this mad person wants to kill me.’ When I pulled into a parking lot, the mad man was Pat, who exited his car, strolled up to me, and said, ‘I just wanted to see what you were up and if you had time to get a drink.’ (Gah?)
Of course, Pat and I lost contact for a several years until I received a Facebook message from someone in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was Pat, on his roommate’s FB account, asking what I was doing during the coming week~end. Fortuitously, I was living in MI, at the time, just about ready to move to Portland, and able to meet up with Pat to hear my best friend’s band play. You know, because I was moving to Oregon a week, so why not get in some time with a guy I hadn’t seen in about ten years?
Two highlights from that evening: listening to Pat talk about venturing through Europe and describe one New Year’s Eve when he was lonely and so exhausted from traveling and relocating households every couple of days. He was staying in Bosnia, with a man he’d just met, drunk and depressed, and ‘finally realized he needed to make a change…a real change…in life, in location, in everything he was doing.’ It all sounded so intense that I asked him what he did and where we went. Pat replied, ‘I packed up my stuff and went to Serbia.’
The second highlight was the very last thing Pat said to me, after the concert, chatting over his Mama’s zucchini bread, and a telephone call to my own Mother explaining where I was at five-thirty in the morning.
Me: Hi Mum, sorry to wake you up. I just wanted to let you know I’m at Pat’s, we’re talking and I’ll be home shortly.
Mum: Oh! Pat Harrison? Stay out as long as you like & have fun!
It’s as if Pat was some magical happy-bear-like-person for whom all the rules bent-my parents never would have let me get away with staying out in High School (which was a smart move on their part, really). At any rate, the time was up for us, that evening, and Pat graciously walked me to my car. We exchanged the friendly huggy portion of the evening and as I treaded over to my car, Pat called out, ‘Hey, by the way, you’re too thin-put some Ass on that, Girl!’
Thank Heavens the true romantic in Pat Harrison hadn’t left entirely.
Pat Harrison tends to show up around the strangest and most appropriate layers of my life. He glides in, offers some colourful line of advice, and slides out-disconnecting for several months or years. As I begin a short hiatus from Frothygirlz, trading writing for photographing the Northern Lights in Iceland, I’m willing to put dollars down on seeing Pat somewhere between exchanging ISK & dining on Hakarl. (Unless, of course, he’s back in Serbia: The happiest place on Earth.)