Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul, there is no such thing as separation. ~Rumi
I’m writing this part of my story on the morning of January 9th waiting for the memorial later today. We won’t be seeing him again, but he’ll be with us, now and forever.
So, thinking about those early days with Lemmy Willis, as he was back then, and reading what I have previously written about meeting Lemmy, I feel a little uncomfortable sharing it. It reads like a diary of a teenage girl, I know, and it’s silly with all the kissing maybe, but that’s how it was. This is, after all, the story of the romance of the 16 year old girl that I once was. And it was romantic! I never thought of him as my “boyfriend”, and our relationship can’t be described as “dating”. It was not defined and we didn’t speak of it.
I had a pure unconditional love for him, which he clearly felt, and he had a way of making me feel loved and appreciated without saying anything. I was very careful to not have any unrealistic expectations of him because I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle any kind of rejection from him.
I would go around to his flat, just showing up unexpectedly, and he was always happy to see me, and graciously inviting. He was always alone, and even though he had roommates, I never met any of them. The kitchen was usually messy, dirty even, with unwashed dishes on the counter and filling the sink. The one big room was always fairly dark, nondescript, and nothing decorative about it except a mirror in the corner that had been painted around the edges with poetic words I can no longer recall, with a filmy cobweb like cloth draping one corner of the glass. I have a vivid memory of him standing sideways to the mirror, assessing himself in his new bell bottomed trousers. “What do you think?” he asked. “I love them” I said, from the top of the bunk bed. “But do I look good in them?” he wanted to know. “You do!” I answered enthusiastically. The hip hugging trousers were tight around his thighs. He had great legs…
The floor of the room was always littered with papers, drawings, photographs, cigarette boxes and the like. The beds were unkempt, just jumbles of seemingly unwashed blankets and linens. This was a quintessential “hippy pad”. It smelled of cigarette smoke, as did Lemmy. The smell a cigarettes on people’s clothing still puts me into a dreamy state recalling poignant, wistful feeling memories of him.
I loved being there with him. We would sit together on the top bunk, not speaking much, just together. I loved how comfortable it was to just “be” with him. He was usually drawing intently in pen and ink, mostly fanciful creatures and scenes.
He seemed to enjoy my presence, not minding that I had little to say. He would try to draw me into conversation, but I was not talkative. Lemmy was reading “Lord of the Rings”, his favorite book at that moment, and his drawings reflected that. He spoke of it glowingly, suggesting that I read it.
I imagine he was speeding, or possibly tripping, but he never said as much. He was sometimes smoking hash, but I never joined him because he rolled it into his cigarettes. I wasn’t a smoker and didn’t want to be. I suppose we all have our drugs of choice and mine has always been chocolate!
(By the way, I love the milk commercial recently released in Norway in honor of Lemmy!)
I’ve brought myself back to the present here. This is a surreal day. I‘ll have to ready myself. I just can’t quite grasp what is happening today…