Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Friday, May 18, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Repair dudes coming by the apt this morning, one of those btw 7am-noon deals, so up early for the mess that I am and back down for a nap by noon. Band practice @1:30pm. Feel a hand on my shoulder shaking me awake. Immediately rousted, seemingly alone, but learning to know better. Summer didn't want me to be late. Thanks, baby. Thank you sweetheart. I feel you. I miss you. And I love you forever.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Subsequent years found other rituals, most involving heavy drinking. A surprise party one year at Mike’s, a long-now-defunct bar on 10th Avenue, in the halcyon days of EST, even Curt was there. By the end, everyone was surly as hell and sniping at each other. Pretty goddamn hilarious in retrospect. Another year, the year I moved to New York but went back to DC for the day, I got mugged in broad daylight 4 blocks from the White House, just outside the McPherson Square Metro Station and spent a couple of hours in the GW emergency room getting my nose re-attached to my face. (“They can’t all be winners”, Summer wrote me, years later, the first year we were together but couldn’t be on this day.) In ’96 Uncle played at CBGB’s on the day. A surviving recording off the sound board includes our closer, a hopped-up cover of The Beatles’ “I Don’t Wanna Spoil the Party” by way of the Ramones and tells you everything you need to know about that band, far more than even the two records we released in the late 90’s.
Doubtless, the best April 25 of them all was the one spent with Summer in 2009. She took me to see Death Cab for Cutie in Sacramento. She stood in front of me and I wrapped my arms around her. We sang along to every song, crying and kissing over her shoulder and crazy in love. Then we decamped to the beautiful house in Davis where she made absurdly complicated and delicious chocolate chocolate chocolate molten chocolate with chocolate frosting and more chocolate cupcakes and we dozed on couches and in the garden and in her amazing bedroom and used up the bath bombs we got at Lush in Carmel in her spa and I cooked for her and we watched movies and drank each other in for several days. It was, like every day spent with her, the best part of my life.
Last year, of course, it fell on the day of Summer’s memorial. She was meant to be here in New York. We had tickets to see Low in Philadelphia at this great venue we’d heard about but had never been. It was a Monday, so it would be our day off – we were meant to be workshopping a new play of mine that week, Summer in the leading role. Instead, I was in San Francisco, at Brava, giving her eulogy. My friend Kim said at the time, when she found out that Summer’s memorial would be held on my birthday, that it was “somehow perfect”. At the time, I couldn’t quite hear that. I wasn’t mad or anything. I just didn’t see it. Now, today, I do. Of course. Of course.
What could this day ever be, what could this day ever mean now without Summer? Choke down some cake? Oh, sure. Drinking heavily... well, that’s not so good but the jury’s out. Fuck. I dunno. I was sober for 8 1/2 years. Summer used to tell me “I don’t believe you’re an alcoholic. I don’t get this. I think you should be able to have a drink. Like when you’re with me. And when you’re happy. Maybe only, at least, when you’re happy.” Summer wasn’t perfect, we didn’t always agree and she wasn’t always right. But damn near. Damn near. I’ll try, sweetie.
What I do know is that Kim was right. What better way to observe it – indeed, what else – than to eulogize, to remember her, to speak of and think of her. Of Summer, of the girl who found me and saved me and changed my life. If only I knew what to do with what’s left of it. Without her. Without you, sweetheart. Oh, my girl! Beautiful, brilliant, miracle Summer. Until that day. Until that day...
Michael Louis Serafin-Wells April 25, 2012 - New York City
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
"...When my mom died last year, I was in London. I got the news in the middle of the night. I was alone. I called Summer, eight hours behind, here. When I told her, she burst into tears. And then told me to get on Skype. “I want to see you drink an entire glass of water”, she said. “And lie down. And try to sleep. I’ll be right here at my computer watching you. I will watch you while you sleep.” She watched over me like an angel, a cyber angel, and when I woke she was there with Linda getting me on a plane to New York and then on to Michigan. Then Summer flew herself to Detroit and waited in the airport all night to meet my plane. And was at my side every day for a week while I buried my mother. Who does that? Serafin love. Irrepressible, irreplaceable girl..."
-from my memorial speech for Summer. Thinking of her so much today and every day.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Just back from Choral Evensong service I like to attend at beautiful, historic St Thomas Church on 5th & 53rd. They have a wonderful Men & Boys Choir and a truly lovely programme. An NYC alternative to London's St Paul's. I like to sit and cry and hear the music, the lesson, the readings and quietly say Summer's name, and whisper prayerfully to my little sweetheart, little sweetie. We will be together again someday...
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Another hospital dream. Summer is in a private room. It's okay for me to go in. I find her in a bed but not attached to any tubes or anything. And she's not laying down. She's sorta kneeling in the bed and stretching. She can't talk and she looks confused. I'm not sure she knows me but I burst into tears. I ask her if she remembers me. All the things we are to each other. At first she looks puzzled, startled, but then something comes into her eyes, it's love. She knows me. She can't talk but I don't think it's a brain thing. She just can't speak. But she is in there. She has memory. And her face, her beautiful face, the look of recognition, she has cognition. It's still her in there. It's going to be okay...
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
There's so much music that I can't bear to listen to anymore because it was so dear to Summer & I together. DCFC, The National, Bon Iver, Goldfrapp are a few. Nothing in those catalogs is safe. With some other groups it's just one very specific record. The last Radiohead for one. Some of it is inescapable - Adele's "21" had just come out this time last year and Summer was singing "Rolling in the Deep" all the time. She was singing it on our last day, hours before she fell. Needless to say, this has not been a good year for avoiding Adele. Anyway, last night I was at dinner with some friends. A song came on. A song I don't even like. "Human" by The Killers. But the last time- indeed, perhaps every time I heard it before - I was with Summer, I was in the midst of our beautiful life. Maybe driving her to rehearsal or waiting for our take-out order at Crepevine on Irving Street or grocery shopping at Andronico's like we did on the last day. I sat there listening to this song, this song I don't even like, this song I probably mildly mocked the last time I heard it ("Are we human or are we dancer?" Really? Really?) and I started to tremble and tear up and just weep. I miss you. I miss you. God, I miss you, my sweetheart...
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Remembering my first Valentines Day with Summer... February 14, 2009. Her parents rented a big beautiful house in Lake Tahoe and we all met up there. When we "went to the snow" we always call it. A couple days earlier, Summer & I were walking past Macy's on her way to ACT and she saw this cute bra and panty set in the window. It was black and pink/red polka dot. I went back and got it for her and gave them to her when I picked her up in the car on our way to leave town. She was teaching that day. We stopped to get gas high up in the mountains and I bought her a pair of Valentine sunglasses. She had a really nice pair of shades, so these became her spare set. We went snowmobiling on trails for hours and made delicious meals in the huge kitchen and the first night we all sat down to dinner together- they were about 15 of us - Mike (Summer's dad) said "I just want to say that I read something this week that I really liked. It's Michael's play Seven Pages Unsigned. It was smart and funny and I really cared about all the characters. And I had a little tear in my eye by the end". I think that was maybe the nicest thing anyone ever said about my work and the most generous, kind thing anyone ever did in public. We had the most wonderful time. It snowed so much- we got 60 inches in a day and a half. The day we left, everyone had gone but Summer, her parents and I. We stayed for another hour or two and they all told me at the greatest length I had yet heard the story of Summer's double organ transplant. We had to have chains on the tires of our cars, the snow was so heavy. I drove Summer's Prius, following Mike & Linda through the mountains. At a pass up there, there was a roadside stop where guys would quickly take off your chains for you. We did that and in a hour were back in sunny mild NoCal. We stopped for gas and Mike said to me, "you're a very good driver. Much better than Summer. Don't tell her I said that." The Bon Iver record had just come out. We listened to it in the car, Summer & I, singing along, singing to each other, me in tears even tho there wasn't anything then to cry about. I was so happy, that's all. The second to last song ends with the line "your love will be safe with me". I promise, Summer said to me. I promise...
Monday, February 13, 2012
A still of Summer from my short film, Two From the Line. One year ago today I was in SF for its first screening. The next day, Valentines. Didn't know these would be our last weeks together. Love you forever, little sweetheart.
Friday, February 3, 2012
It seems I’ve settled, however uneasily, into my life in New York. It’s a solitary one, to be sure. Maybe I’m not so settled as I hesitantly now concede. I do spot the signs of an earlier planned migration. I bought a dozen, indeed, maybe two dozen, plastic storage bins 3 years ago when I thought I might move to SF. I had someone here on a (largely illegal) sublet and had boxed up much of my books, journals and CD’s - the things I thought I might ultimately want at the ready for a cross country van trip. I went to SF for 5 months but work called me back to NYC. I never really said “no” to a move but Summer sometimes let slip she thought I had. Last year at this time she was all but resolved to move here, so I have that as both a comfort and an endless pang of longing - to have her here.
Anyway, the boxes remain, mostly re-unpacked, but stacked and a few still with their contents, an aching reminder of what could have been. What perhaps even should have been. The regret! Anything now to have one more moment with her. To have thrown over everything, gotten a job at a video store and lived in a tiny flat above it, just to be near her always. I know that’s not where we were going. I know why she loved me, I know that she was ready, even, finally, to come here. But it hurts. It all hurts. I miss her so.
There’s a picture, a blurry one, of Summer on her last visit here. I was in the front room and heard her padding her way in from the kitchen. I wanted to film her but my iPhone was set to still instead of video. What I got was a grainy shot of her in her pajamas, coming into the room - the aforementioned plastic bins stacked in the background and what somehow looks like wings at her back. My angel. I call this picture “Resurrection”. Resurrection One, actually (I’ll post it here, forthwith). I find myself mindfully (as opposed to mindlessly) perusing Tumblr for shots as resonant as this on the same subject - Summer and her resurrection, our reunion beyond the immediate knowledge of those things solely mortal…
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
All of my/our friends who can bring themselves to talk to me, either push a book into my hands ( some good ones, to be honest - Rob Sheffield's "Love is a Mix Tape", Patti Smith's "Just Friends" and everything ever written by Joan Didion) or urge me to travel. Travel? Where? Anywhere Summer & I went would prove too painful, I think. And anywhere I had never been would prove so horribly lonesome because I would only wish she were there. Still, somehow, I find myself going to Seattle for a workshop reading of a new play of mine at ACT in March. Summer & I had some unforgettable times together in Seattle but inexplicably I think it's going to be okay. Maybe because her parents are coming up for it, too. Still, always, of course, so hard finding my way...
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Remembered this morning, one time when Summer and I were watching a movie at home and holding hands, we didn't realize until the film was over, hours later, how tight we'd been griping each other. Not even a scary movie (I think it might've been Moulin Rouge) Just so happy, relieved, and maybe a little extra emphatically so, to be together...
Friday, January 20, 2012
January is the month in which I lost both my father (Dean) and and my mentor (Curt). Further, my mom died just 10 months prior to Summer's fall.
As Gertrude says in Hamlet:
"One woe doth tread upon another's heel/So fast they follow"
It's really all too much. Still, all previous, extant grief was dwarfed by the loss of my One True Love. As it should be. As it should be.
Mom, Dad, Curt - please look after my beautiful girl, won't you? Until that day. Until that day...
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Played rough mixes of upcoming BPX record Of Love & Loss for our friend Emily today. Very moved. Hoping to finish mixes and release early spring. Summer sings on several tracks - the first batch we recorded. Final will be a mix of studio & home recordings. Likely a double EP. Of, about and for our fallen bandmate, the love of my life, the light we still look to. More news soon, both here and at the band's website. Love you forever...
Monday, January 16, 2012
I wrote this about Summer one day when I was with her in SF. I remembered it today so I'm sharing here again:
"She just... she has the most beautiful spirit. Sometimes, I'll hear her singing softly in the next room. I'll quietly get up to go listen in the open doorway. And I'll find her propped up, chin resting in her palm, sprawled belly down across the bed, her legs scissoring the air, working on her laptop, totally unawares. She doesn't even know she's singing. I just look at her and feel my heart break in two. With gratitude for a change..."
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
DCFC was such an important band to Summer & I. This pic was taken on my b'day. Summer took us to see DCFC in Sacramento and we're back at her house in Davis. One of the happiest moments of my life...
I have a thousand things to say about Summer Lindsay Serafin. A thousand thousand. I’ll be saying them and thinking them and writing them down every day for the rest of my life no matter how brief or prolonged that may be. But today...Just for today...
She liked to sleep. That’s not what I wanna talk about but it has to be said. She loved sleeping. I’m listening to one her voicemails of late and she says she is so excited by the prospect of sleep. That “it is like (her) mouth is watering for sleep”. She says that. It’s good. I sometimes sleep now and just want to stay. I hope I might find her there.
It’s impossible, really. Impossible that I met her. That she “found me” she liked to say. I’m not from around here. It’s impossible that she lived in a place called “The Inner Sunset”. Impossible that she lit me up, this shining person, and held me, safely, in her orbit. Impossible. All of it. And today. Just impossible.
She was a terrible driver. Even Mike said so. I loved her battle-scared Blue Prius. The passenger side mirror in a kaleidoscope thousand pieces, dangling by a cable. A taillight busted. The bumper sagging. No, no she fixed that. The back seat full of boots and sunhats and coconut water. And tissues. She left a trail of tissues everywhere. Like Hansel & Gretel. You could follow it to its source and eventually find her.
She was – words, not for the first time, fail – an unearthly beauty. An ethereal beauty. And shockingly, entirely earthbound. Preternaturally present. She ate up life. With both tiny perfect fists. Ate it up. Actually, she ate quite beautifully. Do you remember that? Cutting and balancing petite bites, transferring them knife to fork with quiet elegance. Even bananas she ate like that. Seriously, I have a picture. I got her to try dark chocolate. She wasn’t a fan at first. She broke little bits off into tiny pieces. I looked over and she was sprinkling Equal onto them one at a time.
She was the dearest dearest girl. Nothing phony about her. If you got to know her at all, your heart just broke in two the moment you realized, the moment you saw her, really saw her and then surged with love. For her. This amazing girl.
She didn’t do anything to make it difficult, but I can understand how someone could think she was hard to get to know. She was friendly but never facile. She wasn’t frivolous. She was serious. She was fun, god, was she fun. She loved people – and this is what I wanna get it, at long last – she loved people and she took them seriously. Not everybody’s up for that. More fool they.
I’m circling the runway here, I know, but there’s one more thing I gotta say before I bring it in – she was a breathtakingly gifted actor. I met her doing Edna O’Brien’s Tir na nOg, Chris Smith’s last play at The Magic. She played the central role, a country girl in the west of Ireland who grows to young adulthood and further adventures in Dublin. And she burned that stage to cinders every goddamn night. With three broken toes. If you live here and you go to the theatre and you did not see her in that, I don’t know what to tell you. I really don’t. A year later, right after she was in Rock n Roll at ACT, she went down to Carmel to do David Hare’s The Blue Room directed by Ken Kelleher. I sat there between Linda and Coy and I
just thought “god, what am I doing?” I have a perfectly healthy ego. I’m from New York. But I have never seen acting like that. She is like the supermoon. Once in a generation.
She loved her work. And she was good at it. But she had a higher calling. To love. And, yes, that is what I want to talk about. Because she told me. She told me she knew why she was here and that was to love. She was filled with love. So much love. And she wanted more than anything to share her love with others. She told me that. And there is absolutely no doubting it because you could not have a better piece of luck in this world than to have been blessed enough to have been loved by her. She was like that device they use in open heart surgery that cracks your chest open and holds it gaping, wide, so you can be healed. That fragile little muscle, scarred and scared and on the verge of shutting down, giving out, giving up, held now tenderly in her expert hands, beneath her loving, healing gaze.
Her love was tenacious, vigilant. Unflinching. I met her three years ago and she quickly became the center of my life. She didn’t drop people. If you were in, she was in. Even if you faltered because nobody had ever shown up for you before like this, she was on you. Checking in. Reminding. Different this time. Not goin’ anywhere. She hated talking on the phone but we talked every day, often for hours. For three. She knew everything about me. Things I never tell became hers.
And she made sure I knew her as well. Her gratitude, her pride in a happy childhood. Loving, devoted, would-take-a-bolt-of-lightning-for parents. Her epic struggle from the age of 5 to live. Ryan’s gifting her a kidney and the double organ transplant that saved and changed her life. The unfathomable loss of Jesse. She carried every piece of her past with pride and love and honesty into every room, knowing exactly who she was, like no one I have ever known. Or ever will.
God, how I loved her! She’s right. She did find me. I clung to her. “Like a liferaft” I told her she was, “to a drowning man.” She smiled and said, “you’re not drowning anymore.”
When my mom died last year, I was in London. I got the news in the middle of the night. I was alone. I called Summer, eight hours behind, here. When I told her, she burst into tears. And then told me to get on Skype. “I want to see you drink an entire glass of water”, she said. “And lie down. And try to sleep. I’ll be right here at my computer watching you. I will watch you while you sleep.” She watched over me like an angel, a cyber angel, and when I woke she was there with Linda getting me on a plane to New York and then on to Michigan. Then Summer flew herself to Detroit and waited in the airport all night to meet my plane. And was at my side every day for a week while I buried my mother. Who does that? Serafin love. Irrepressible, irreplaceable girl.
“When I met you”, she said “you were so wounded, so hurting, so sad – I just wanted to love you, to heal. But I never dreamed”, she added, “I would ever get so much love in return.” Who does that?
I need her. I am broken. That is as it should be. It’s supposed to be hard. She cracked my chest open. It’ll have to stay that way. Because who would go back? But it’s hard.
Summer, incredibly, had an answer for that, I think. All this is preface. She’d want to have the last word. So, I’d like to share that. It’s her Christmas card from a couple of years ago. She was in Boston doing Rock n Roll at The Huntington. It closed just before the holidays and she came to New York to exchange gifts with me. She made me promise to wait until December 25th to open it. So, I took it on the plane with me, waited til Christmas morning and opened it at my Mom’s. The gift was a beautiful blue and grey scarf she knitted. There was also a card. It’s to me but in a way it’s to us all. Everyone of us who she loved. Everyone of us who love her. And feel so lost. Because life is so lonely, the world so empty and wrong without her.
My Dearest Michael,
I’ve been working on this in the green room and backstage since we came to Boston. I’d drape it around my neck to keep warm while knitting in the dark of the freezing wings. The cast is decisively in favor of the striped color combination.
It’s Christmas day, and I’m wearing my pajamas. I’m in my P.J.’s even if you’re reading this when the sun has set. Ryan is making another bourbon and coke even if you’re reading this as the sun rises. My Dad is reading aloud shocking statistics about religion or politics, my Mom is spraying perfume on the dog, and me...? I am missing you. Maybe one day we’ll spend Christmas together.
Coy says “You are where you’re meant to be”, and while I like that idea, I know, far too well, what it feels like to be in a world where everything feels wrong – where everything is wrong. You have also been to that place. And as the world spins on its own axis, people are lost in their own needs and trials. We falter blindly, and strive endlessly. But no matter where you are, whether you should be there or not, and no matter who is present... know that you are a treasure in your own right. If the chest is buried, the key is lost, or the map stolen, it doesn’t matter; it doesn’t change the fact that it’s inside you. I just see what’s there. You carry it with you. What’s hidden can always be found.
I love you. Your Gingersnap, Summer I love you, too. Love you forever. Goodnight, little sweetheart.
Summer- the love of my life, my reason, my soulmate, my partner, my bandmate, my co-writer, my One True Love, my pretty little girl, my Gingersnap - tragically died on March 18, 2011 of injuries following an accidental fall. I will write and post things about her here upon occasion. What a beautiful life we had! Those 3 years we had were the best of my life. I'll try to express some of it - the love, the longing, the loss - here. xo-michael