Got my rental car and headed for Raleigh. I didn't have any CD's with me, so I tried to listen to the radio. It was all crap, so I pretty much drove in silence the whole way home. I had rented a 2007 Toyota Highlander, which is one of the two vehicles on my "short" list to buy. Now, I just need to drive a Honda CR-V. Nothing wrong with the Highlander, but I’m leaning toward the Honda.
Dropped the car at the airport and Greg Howard picked me up and gave me a ride home. Dropped my stuff and had just enough time to check for emergency email when Terry called to say he was on the way to the hospital.
I jumped in the car and met him there.
Poor Terry's been doing double-duty here recently. Not only is his best-friend-for-life David here at Wake Med, but his dad Carl has been here for 2 weeks for a heart procedure. Carl's in the ICU, so I can't go visit. Only family is allowed, and even then they're only allowed in there for 15 minutes at a time, 5 times a day. Weird.
So, up to David's room we went. I've known David for 27 years, so I knew it was him as soon as I saw him, but anyone who didn't know him well would never had recognized him.
David has advanced liver disease, which has the unfortunate side effect of Encephalopathy (google it). He's very gaunt due to the weight loss, and his skin is a peculiar shade of yellow. His breathing is very labored at this point and I'm not really sure he even knows who's in the room with him.
Terry and I settled in for the evening, and then Jack Cornell showed up. Over the course of the evening, a few more visitors dropped by. Peter Holsaple, Robert Keely, and Kevin Nunnery all showed up.
Some history here - I first saw a band called The Fabulous Knobs back in 1980, when I lived in Charlotte, NC. They consisted of David Enloe and Keith Taylor on guitars, Jack Cornell on bass, Terry Anderson on drums and Debra DeMilo on vocals. They were one of the most amazing bands I've ever seen – a distillation of everything good about the Rolling Stones, the Faces, Chuck Berry and James Brown. Nuff said.
All of my close friends in Charlotte became friends with everyone in the band. Every time they came to town, we would all go to their shows and throw afterparties at our homes for them.
After they broke up, David, Terry and Jack, along with Dan Baird (from the Georgia Satellites) became The Woodpeckers. After Dan left, the other 3 guys became The Woods.
The Woods were the first band I ever worked for. I was hired to be David's guitar tech. Were it not for him, I'm certain I would not have the career I have now.
David was also a great friend. We've been drinking buddies for 27 years. We've shared the best and worst of each other's lives throughout those years. Hell, at one point in my life, I got so tired of driving home to my place after leaving his apartment nearly every night that I rented the apartment across the hall from him. Staggering 10 feet was a hell of a lot easier (and smarter) than driving.
He helped me through the big breakups of my life (you ladies know who you are), and I like to think I helped him through his 3 marriage cycles.
One of the things that impressed me most was when he went back to school in his mid/late thirties to get his degree. That was not easy to do.
There are so many stories I could tell, but I can't sit here typing all day. Maybe we can have a drink one night and toast to David over it. I promise I'll tell you some stories then.
So, back at the hospital, it was only Jack, Terry and I after about 9pm. Then those two finally split around 10. I bunkered down and wanted to stay until David's brother Mark got there. I'd already decided to go home and get some sleep, then come back in the morning to relieve Mark from his overnight duty. Poor guy's been sleeping in a chair in the corner of the room for a few nights now.
Before I left, I told David that I loved him. I had probably said that to him 5 times tonight – maybe he heard and understood, maybe he didn't – but I just felt like saying it again.
I left about 11:30. Straight home, aspirin for my splitting headache (never ate today), then to bed by 12:15…