-What did you say?
-What about him?
It hasn’t stopped raining.
That was how it was. Something real simple. Something like death. How does it just happen? Just like that. No explanation, no nothing.
I always though that there would be more to it. But I guess that’s how it always happens. It just does.
Then it hits you. You finally get past the initial shock of how you got to where you are. Yout hinka bout where you were no more than twenty minutes ago. Now, your whole world has been turned around.
All of a sudden you’re standing there in a room full of people, but you are the loneliest motherfucker on the face of the earth. You feel like you’re the only one in the word. How fucking lonely that is. The world, as it turns out, is a cold desolate place.
So we’re all sitting here together, yet all completely alone.
What did he all mean to us. This was an understatement. No words could ever describe who Sancho was. He was, well, he was something else. To each of us he was something different. But at the same time, there was something about Sancho that changed al our lives. This, we all shared.
Something you never forget is the first time you met Sancho. I think that it would be nearly impossible to forget the first time. In fact, anyone who could successfully forget the first time they met Sancho must have been pretty fucking dull. You just don’t forget. Like the first time you had sex, you just don’t forget that.
Right. Back to where I met him first. He was sitting in this room playing his ukulele. It wasn’t like he was alone either. Room was jam packed full of people. But dead silent. Everyone just sat there staring at him. But he just sat there and played as if he was alone in an empty room. Just sat there playing. Head down. Eyes closed with concentration. Strumming. Singing. It was as if the room echoed with his soul.
It was just the way that he was. To him, it didn’t matter if the room was empty or full. He could have been alone in his room or playing in front of a packed house at the Orpheum Theater. It would have been the same. Most who knew him would say that it was nearly impossible to really get to know him.
Sancho was one of those character that when he opened his mouth, you listen. You hang onto every word and every syllable. There weren’t many, and sometimes nothing at all. But those words you would listen to with the utmost concentration. And when he was silent, his eyes would speak. Not many knew this. Very few actually. But those who did know this knew better than to ask him about what he was trying to say with his eyes. He couldn’t tell you. I don’t know if it was because he couldn’t explain it or if it was because he didn’t want you to know. It was just the way he was. A closed book.
A closed book especially for those everyday blokes who didn’t know better. And for us lucky few, when that book opened you would study it like that last minute cram before a psychology exam. It was as if it were the night before the exam and you had yet to crack your book. You best cram for that sucker. Then, before you knew it, the book was closed again. And you never knew when it would open again.
-Thanks. Appreciate it.
Not bad for a first conversation. He just smiled at me and went on his merry way. It wasn’t like he was being arrogant either. Probably one of the most sincere people you would ever meet. He was one of those people that actually looked you in the eye and smiled when he said stuff like that. You just don’t find people like that anymore.
That was when I knew I had to get to know Sancho. It would end up taking some work, however. A few more short conversations later, and then it happened.
-Hey. What are you up to?
-Cool. Wanna come with us?
-Cool. Quit waiting. Grab your bike, let’s go.
We went. We rode. And we talked. Like I said before. Sancho never said much. He would listen like a motherfucker though. He always liked to get a good handle on the person he was talking to. And that was how he did it.
I guess that last bit isn’t entirely true. He would listen to you as long as you weren’t talking about something stupid. He would listen.
Every so often, when the time was right it would come out. And just like the first time I met him, everyone would listen.
-But if you’re constantly trying to re-invent yourself into what’s “hip” or “new” what does that accomplish? It’s like you’re just running away from who you really are. So you do this, the only thing you change is external. Yet at the same time, you have no fucking clue who you really are. But it certainly doesn’t have shit to do with being “hip”.
Someone says something like that you best take a minute to think about it.
It was stuff like that when you got to know him. And, of course, it wasn’t always serious too. Dude could joke around with the best of them. He certainly knew how to have fun. More often than not, it was on his own terms. It always surprised me how often his terms would dictate others’. He never forced anyone to do anything. People would just follow after him. There was just some kind of aura about him.
Now, I’m not trying to make this guy into a god or anything. But like I said, he was just one of those people.
And there are very few people that you meet in your life that are like that.
So I guess you can see why the death of someone like that would have an effect on you. It would be nearly impossible to try and live as he did. Only he could do that. So what can you do now that he’s gone?
Remember what he taught you. That’s where his memory lies. He wouldn’t have it any other way really. No trophy. No award. No scholarship. Nothing. Not a goddamn thing in this world could amount to anything Sancho taught you. So really, remembering is all that’s left for you to do. The only stipulation is that you best not forget.
It’s hard for not even an entire day to pass by without thinking about him. Like I said, you can’t forget someone like this. But in remembering him, I can’t help but get emotional about it. And I am not an emotional person. Neither was he. Sancho never put anything on his sleeve. That’s the same way he would want anyone else to be. Your emotions, he would tell me, are your own business. You’re best keeping them to yourself. Always protect your backside. But at the same time if you do choose to show your emotion…be damn sure you can trust them. Be wary. At first, trust no one.
At the time all I could do was laugh about that. Seems out there right? But now, since he’s gone, it makes all the more sense. The poit wasn’t to be this paranoid schizophrenic type. It was about keeping your wits about you and knowing that at all costs, at least you’ve got yourself covered. Your life isn’t something that you just go putting into someone else’s hands all willy-nilly and the like. To Sancho, his life was his own. It was, as he would say, for nobody but him. Why let the world in on your secret. Besides, what’s the point of letting everyone in the world feel sorry for you? What are you trying to gain form it? Attention? Sympathy? The fact is that, in reality, people could care less about your destruction of emotions throughout the duration of your life. Sure, it’s important as hell to express yourself. Just don’t wear your life, your pains, your trials, your tribulations or anything of the sort like it was a fucking trophy. It’s just a cheap was of asking people to take pity on you. Congratulations.
It seemed like an asshole thing to say at the time, but it makes sense. In the end, what exactly is anyone trying to gain from that in the first place? For this reason, Sancho would hate it if we lament over him. Surely, mourn together. But never make your mourning into an object or a show. At this point it just becomes ridiculous and unattractive.
Sometimes when he would say shit like this it would just piss me off. Often it would take a while for me to forgive him for it too. But, every time, just like clockwork, after I would think about that stuff he said that pissed me off I would come to and it was like everything he said made sense.
For someone as stubborn as I am, I hated these moments, but I knew that if would all be worth it in the end. Motherfucker would always end up being right.
If there was ever anything that perpetually pissed me off about Sancho, it was that silence. That silence could kill. I always wanted to know deep down inside what he was thinking about, but he never let it out. Just like he said, these thoughts are mine and for me only.
I now find myself in silence more often that not now that he’s gone. Once again, he was right.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but ther was something different about his silence. His silence had this aura about it. This was something I would never fully understand. This wasn’t just any old thing that you could teach to anyone who asked. Although, he would often tell me, generally during these bouts of silence, to never fear it. Anyone who can’t stand themselves or this life in silence has best rethink their position.
I guess this is what they meant by saying you just want to be alone with your thoughts. If you can be alone with your thoughts and in silence, what more do you need in life?
Sancho did this all the time. But for him, it didn’t matter if he was in a crowded room or alone in his. He was always in good company alone with his thoughts.
This is where I find myself now. Trying desperately to live in good company with my thoughts. There was so much that Sancho taught me, I just hope I can do him the smallest bit of justice.