I think I must have been nineteen when I met Aaron Elliot aka Aaron Cometbus. He was probably fifteen or so. I remember we were always getting into philosophical discussions outside punk shows, often at the warehouse I lived in, New Method. We’d plonk down on the floor and share a beer or a smoke and talk for hours. And then in later years, we’d walk and talk, threading our way through Oakland, Berkeley and beyond.
You can read about that time in my life in the few posts I wrote under “the punk rock” headings.
For a while our paths crossed often. And then, not at all, but it was OK because this was the way of our friendship. We’ve always been able to take up just where we left off.
I moved to NY and he moved to NY (or maybe that happened vice versa) and one day while driving in Brooklyn, we almost creamed him at a cross walk where he had the right of way and we were distracted by conflicting GPS directions.
He’s a great human being and he is an awesome writer able to get to the heart of the matter in the most beautiful ways.
Here’s the deal with the awesome zine, Cometbus (formerly known as Ride the Wohl Whip Cometbus, and no, I still don’t know what that means).
here’s a fansite
and here’s the wiki link
In the years when we didn’t see each other much, we wrote to each other. I’ve always loved getting and sending letters. Slowly my other pen pals have fallen by the wayside, replaced by emails and phone (although whenever I want to let a friend know I am thinking of them or love them, I always write a letter or a postcard). Now that I live in Nova Scotia I feel even more removed from everyone. But Aaron and I still write a few letters back and forth every year.
So anyway I wrote this short piece, LOVE YOU LIKE SUICIDE. A semi-autobiographical very concise novella about a particular time in my life. Fierce Ink Press published it as an e-book. Here’s a link to them. So I sent a printed out copy to Aaron just so he could see what I’ve been up to, and he decided he would like to release it as a strictly limited edition half-issue of COMETBUS (number 55 and a half to be exact).
This is about as great an honour as I have ever received.
I still remember how excited I would get when I visited my local record store and there’d be a new issue of the zine lying on the counter. A mere 2 bux usually (though sometimes he goes up to $3), always featuring great cover artwork, plump-paged and smelling of toner and fresh ink, an escape into a world which was both familiar and unfamiliar. I have all my old issues, carefully packed away and ready to be perused by my children when they are a little older.
Here’s a link for an online store:Quimby’s