Peter the Pumpkin Eater

I could lie, saying that I didn’t write for a while because what I wanted to write about was too close to the heart, but that is not true. I had plenty of other things to write about, but didn’t do that either. truth is, after my brother’s passing a year and a half ago, it felt like the creative writing rug was pulled from under my feet somehow. To cope with what has happened, I began playing and recording music, and the need to contribute doing that still persists, so I keep it satisfied. I also reflected on my brothers life, writing on what I remembered and how much he meant to me, but all other writing… something has happened there. I wrote very few blog posts and worked even less on the main story I had going. In mid February my best friend Pete died, and within days I told myself I would need to write about that, just like i did with my brother’s passing, and yet I couldn’t make myself take a single step toward that. maybe it was grief itself, preventing me from taking steps to address itself. whatever the reason, it is only now that i start going with it.

I met Peter Christensen in late 2005 and i was his friend for 17 years and i miss him like crazy every day. First couple times we’ve met he didn’t make a good impression on me, but that changed quickly. Pete was a great and knowledgeable and friendly guy, but he struggled with lots of things in his life, and he was often negative about people around him, strangers or not. He never expressed anything like that toward me, but he had resentments toward a lot. I was happy he joined AA, like me, because i could see clearly how he was shedding his negative attitudes toward people and was trying to improve his outlook on life. He became so dedicated to sobriety and recovery that I envied his energy a bit. 

Pete knew places to get movies from. Movies were a passion we shared. We’d borrow them from stores, from library, we’d go see common friends to watch movies, Paul and Bernie. Funny enough, we never watched a movie together in a theater. Pete and I were both Helloween band fans, and they use pumpkins in their artwork. After we watched Pumpkin Head, i started calling Pete Pumpkin Eater from time to time, but never to his face.

I helped Pete move at least two times, and helped him clean and declutter on of those places before it was livable in. I’ve lost count of concert we’ve been to together. Maiden, Ozzy, Misfits, Watain, Judas Priest, The Sword, Slayer, Warmarch, Behemoth, and much more. I’d usually stand at one spot, but Pete would move around the floor, checking out better sound. Then we’d miraculously meet among the massive crowd and chat about it.

I think first time i went to an AA meeting with Pete was on a New Years eve and it was a birthday meeting. He was in quite positive spirits after that and we went out for pizza around Whyte Ave and went to my place and watched AC/DC home video for hours and through fire works. It was way before he joined AA, but he was coming to meetings at Alano Club around that time, i think. Around the time we became friends i was still at school and worked in college kitchen all week. Peter would come over Sunday morning and we’d play guitars through the massive Marshall amp he stored at my place, and then we’d split and I’d go to work. Pete and I drove around to look for my new black leather jacket and on the way I found a Venom Live in London DVD and we’d sit at my place, wearing our leathers and watching it and drinking root beers.

Pete was insanely difficult to get a hold of, half the time. Before I owned a cell phone and could send text messages, I phoned him on the landline and leave messages just to say “hi” and he wouldn’t return my call for a couple of weeks. Then out of nowhere he’d show up, when I near lost hope to hear back from him. It didn’t change a lot through the years, but somehow he was there when I phoned when I really needed him there. We texted often when he was back to reality, or at least my reality. His was quite different, I knew.

Pete died six years sober from heart failure. What the hell…

It gets insane to think a person so close to you and for so long can never be around anymore, and you could not get a hold of them. Pete, I miss your presence and your voice and the amazing friend you’ve always been. One day I’ll be around out there. You better answer your astral phone then.

Love and horns

thank you to the good people who took last two pictures, whoever you are, i do not recall

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