Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Concert for Kate

Fruitless Pursuits readers,

This post is an unusual one for the site, not necessarily full of the latest news on Doctor Who or thoughts on recent Blockbusters.

This post is about one of my oldest and closest friends Kate, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Fellow fans and geeks, lovers of pop culture and friends, I humbly ask you to please visit the site and spread the word into the far reaches of the internet. If you can donate some money, anything that you can spare for this girl that changed my whole life please do.

And in tribute, if you want to know a little more about this person, about her interests and about how sometimes we are all the same, join me under the cut.

I met Kate when I was about 15, in the line for a Jebediah concert in Perth. She was wearing loud colours and her trademark smile and she and her friend Polly decided to stay with me during the concert. We instantly became friends.

I think it's fair to say that Kate is the biggest music nerd that I know and always has been. She took me to my first Gyroscope concert and yelled down the phone to me about Something for Kate. We spent long hours in lines to see local bands, in the local record shops and walking the streets of Perth in our Chuck Taylors, wearing way too many badges; our back packs and bags covered in stickers. Sometimes I would sleep over her house and she would tell me about her life while staring at her many band posters and occasionally interjecting with some strange observation about the drawing on a poster or a craving for cherry candy.

Kate never liked science fiction (with the exception of Star Wars - she's a mad Star Wars fan!) but she would tape Stargate just for me when I couldn't watch it. She would let me devolve into long-winded rants about how wonderful Daniel Jackson is and how much I love space. Kate didn't have to love everything I loved to love me. She'd listen and let me be exactly who I was. And then she'd show up at my house while I was studying for exams with a yellow envelope stuffed with sci-fi and music clippings, confetti and a new mix CD declaring I must keep studying. She'd draw me pictures telling me some day I would meet someone who was better than Daniel Jackson and maybe would love hover crafts and science fiction.

I went to some of the best musical experiences of my life with Kate. Had some of the most profound days. She introduced me to Anneke who you will see if you click on the link to the site. Anneke is the best woman at my wedding. This is a big deal.

Kate cut my hair and made me t-shirts and held my hand. As I slowly became more and more interested in science fiction and fantasy and watching Farscape and Supernatural and Doctor Who, Kate and I spent less time together. We got different friends and went to different things but somehow that never mattered. I still got beautiful cards and notes. I still don't think anyone looks as happy to see me as she does when I walk into a room.

Thing is, Kate is just like me about the things she loves; she loves them with all her heart and breath. She talks about them with passion and joy. She has charisma.

Kate loves music most of all; The Hold Steady, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Dempsey, Blink 182 - probably a million bands I have never heard of who will blow my mind when I listen to them.

She's an artist who draws the most amazing pictures; full of longing and soul and desperation and light. Her body is covered in all of her favourite things, in words and scripts and birds. In meaning.

She loves the West Wing the way I love Stargate. Her eyes light up and I don't understand a single word she is saying. One day maybe I'll watch it with her, or maybe not watching it is the point. Then it's uniquely hers. She loves anything and everything Wizard of Oz. She talks about Dorothy's strength and fire and she tries to emulate what she sees. She loves Wicked the Musical and when I found out, it took all of my strength not to sing at her. Writing this is really hard.

Recently, I got some texts from Kate. She said she was watching a science fiction movie and actually loving it. Moon. I tell her that I enjoy ethical dilemmas. I tell her that it was interesting that a corporation was deciding whether or not you were considered a person in that film. She tells me the thing she loved most was watching the different facets of one’s self interact. I want to talk to her about this forever.

Kate loudly declared at a recent party that she would try to read A Song of Ice and Fire after I gushed at her about it. That there has to be something in that genre that she might like! I don't even care if she does or if she hates it, I just care that she wanted to try.

Maybe no one will read this - maybe no one will be interested in how one tiny person feels about another tiny person in this huge world. I hope one day she gets to read this and she understands how I feel about her and what she has given to me. That no matter what happens she will always be in the front row with me at a Jimmy Eat World concert; clutching my hand and singing along. That she will always be in the music I hear, in the concerts I go to, in the books I read and in the relationships I form with the people around me. In this very story of strangers showing support to people they don't know because they are simply better than we think. Because maybe she doesn't realise this, but she started it all. She changed everything. Even if it was for one tiny person.

If you decided to read this; thank you. I needed to tell someone. I hope you meet her. I hope you meet someone like her. I hope you tell everyone you love that you love them. I hope you never apologise for the things that you love either.

Go be great.