On New Year’s Eve, 22 years ago, my big brother passed away of a drug overdose. This past year, I experienced a romantic loss…which would normally be fine, but this one hit me like a ton of bricks, and made some pretty old, ugly personal demons surface. Why? I think my reaction to the latter has to do with unresolved abandonment issues from the former. This series is an attempt to move past both of these losses, and start healing. We’re all in this together, and the stakes are never higher than when you take a stand for your own happiness.
If you’re new and just joining this journey with me, you should probably start at Part 1. If you’ve read some of this already, you can join me at Part 2 or Part 3. If you only want to read this entry, I really don’t understand you. We probably can’t hang. Major spoilers ahead, boo.
John Hastings would have been 49 years old today. Happy Birthday, big brother.
The last few weeks have felt even better. I’m stronger and happier. My life doesn’t feel like I’m wandering through a Lars Von Trier film anymore. I’m nearing the end of this journey to find Mxxxxx Bxxxxxxxxx, the person my family has held responsible for my brother’s death. It feels like perfect timing. Not only personally, but professionally: I don’t want the search to take over my life, or be the focus of this blog (“BLCKSMTH? Oh, you mean the Dead Brother Blog?”), even though the point of BLCKSMTH is to tell the story of people’s paths, however difficult, to lives they love, and were probably meant for all along.
One thing that has helped me heal is
vast amounts of boxed wine working on my set design for the stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. It’s a dream project of mine, combining Mr. Gaiman’s storytelling while aesthetically being inspired by a favorite artist of mine, Lee Bontecou. Most days, for almost two weeks, I have been at my theater from 10 am to 10 pm. I am exhausted, my hands look like hamburger meat, and I think I might permanently smell like metalworking/welding fumes. But I am so happy working on this project, making art again, and it’s so gratifying to see members of my “extended family” at Sacred Fools Theater in Los Angeles come by and help out. There are some pretty talented and generous people executing this project.
This week, I broke away from the set build for a couple of hours to talk to Mark De La Garza, Gilda De La Garza’s brother. Mark was probably the last person to see John alive, and the conversation solidified my decision on what to do with the new information I have now (that my resourceful sister Linda found), about where Mxxxxx Bxxxxxxxx lives. Continue reading My Brother’s Keeper, My Brother’s Killer Part 4: The Plan