Wednesday, August 22

The Legend of Baby Hush

Derek worked with me at B&N, he was a receiver in the back. He was short and just pure muscle, and covered with tattoos. It took people forever to realize that he was hilarious, because he was pretty intimidating and scowly. He hung out with a hipster crowd who did the whole retro fifties rockabilly thing, and I loved watching the pompadours and Betty Grable dames come to visit him.

I was the kid’s supervisor, so I spent a lot of time in the back room, and Derek was such a doll. After years of avowed bachelorhood and no limitations on himself, he had found a girl going to college down south that amazed him, and who he was willing to see exclusively. We were talking about how amazing this was for him just before he left to go see her for a long weekend.

You make no money selling books, in the front room or the back, which is why Derek was driving on bald tires in a rainstorm, and on his way home he hydroplaned through a red light. He lingered in a coma for like a month and a half.

Derek's Funeral was huge, and afterwards we (the B&N contingent) went out for a salutary drink in his memory. We ended up calling in drunk, way too hammered to go back to work. I guess it was a good thing the store manager was hammered with us, hmm?

Another of that hipster set, Galen, was the one who had convinced Derek to come to work at B&N, and was really close to him. Galen dated the snootiest, prissiest, most obnoxiously Martha Stewart at her worst, WASPY twat ever, and she had the balls to question my presence at the funeral, because she had never seen me at any of their parties. I still loathe her five and six years down the line.

Mexican Wrestling is coming to town and Derek would receive in his wrestling mask some days, scaring the hell out of the UPS guy when he opened the door. He also one day was bitching at Galen, and wrote BABY HUSH across his fingers, prison style. When Galen came to the back next, Derek asked him if he wanted some Baby Hush, and a legend was born.

He was smart and funny, totally crass and obnoxious, crazy and on the verge of big things. Useless Twat Steph was right; I was never in his inner circle. But I think the world could still use a little Baby Hush.


crse said...

Jenn, that was a great post. It honored Derek in a really life affirming way. Screw the useless twat steph. Im guessing Derek is touched by the way you remember him.

gretty said...

that was beautiful.

Bunny said...

That's a great tribute to a friend. May Derek R.I.P.

SQT said...

Jeebus, how much of an uptight twat do you have to be to question who comes to someone's funeral?

Derek sounds worthy of the tribute. It's a shame a tribute is even necessary tho....

Maria said...

Why do the best. most funny, most wonderful ones have to die young?

My sainted Irish mother would have said that God wants them up in heaven with him.

Of course, that is total bullshit.

But, how wonderful that after all this time, you remember him with such love and happiness. I can think of nothing anyone would want more.