wrote of him, apparently in contravention of Guybert's wishes. If you knew either Daryl, my dad Bob, or Guybert, then this is really no surprise. Daryl described Guybert as his only 'hoodlum' friend. While I never knew Guybert the hood-who was apparently domesticated promptly upon marrying Jan-I was witness to their banter enough to understand that promises were made and kept with a floating scale. "Hey, let me take the 'Vette to the store. I promise I won't punch it." That kind of promise is one that slides all the way off the scale into non-promise territory. The implied promise of lifelong friendship is on the other end of the scale. So strong that they didn't have to say a word. It was written all over their faces, and lives.
After losing both of my parents, I figured death had no hold over me. I considered myself jaded to the point of finding this passing-or breaking through to the other side, as they would have put it in their heyday-to be a mere formality. Like the removal of Christmas decorations when the season ends, this, another piece of scenery is merely removed. At the end of the season. This season.
Well, seasons come and go. And come again. And go again. Good friends do not. These friends are forever. They are a polestar. And when they are extinguished, a piece of our heavens dies out. Those of us who knew G man feel the vacuum.
Guybert and his wife and his children were family. I remember when my mom and dad split and my dad was doing some soul searching, the Pierce family took him in to their home. I know it was done graciously because there was no taboo, hat in hand awkwardness. There was Jan, "Oh shit! Now I gotta deal with two of you fuckers?!" Apparently it's no big deal for a friend to love a friend. It is the greatest demonstration of love to live love. These lived love to, for and with eachother.
And it was hard not to love G man. With his lopsided grin, he would peddle the most asinine pseudo-facts. When I bought my 66 El Camino off of him, and when I say 'I bought', I mean 'dad bought', we sat around his driveway, endlessly talking about the car. Guybert said, "hey Coreman. You gotta get some hub caps." I asked, not skeptically, but for my own edification, "Why?" He said, "You'll get a ticket for indecent exposure. Your nuts are showing." It literally did not stop.
It didn't even stop when I came to see him more recently, when he wore his stoic face, in the face of fate. I'd walk through the neighborhood. It was even money that he'd be in his garage, monitoring Park Blvd. "Hey Coreman. Did you hear the one...?" Of course I heard the one Guybert. You told me that joke when I was 6. But I'd let it play out, and even if the punchline was expected, his grin made the wait worthwhile. He spoke fondly of my dad. I spoke fondly of my dad. Jan would come out. "What the fuck are you two doing?!" I laugh even as I write it. I love you too Jan.
Guybert, I'm not too jaded. I miss you already. And I love you. And I feel the void where a star once dwelt. Say hi to my dad for me. And my mom. I'll see you soon, when every tear is wiped from my eyes.