Tuesday, October 16, 2007
my last time seeing frank zappa face to face
was just months before his death in December 1993.
I went to the zappa abode for a short visit.
he looked like the picture above,
which was a shock.
frank was obviously ill, his voice a whisper.
instead of the vibrant frank I knew
there was an older man.
only 52 but seeming very weak and tired.
in place of his usual habit of chain-drinking espresso
he was sipping orange juice freshly squeezed by his maid.
frank talked about his latest project.
the conversation drifted off.
I felt a tinge of guilt taking his time.
soon he excused himself to rest for a while.
our interlude was over.
I prefer to remember a different ending.
one night in late 1992 I woke up from a vivid dream.
I looked at the clock. 6 AM.
I couldn't get back to sleep.
in my dream frank and I were laughing and talking,
having a lively conversation about music and things.
it felt good, like a friendship.
since I couldn't sleep I went downstairs
and sat in a chair, replaying the dream.
there was no such thing as e-mail then,
about the fastest delivery was by fax.
so I decided to send a fax to frank.
in my fax I told him about the dream.
then I said I had never properly thanked him
for all he had done for me
and I wanted say "thanks".
I had no idea at that time that frank was ill and dying.
later that afternoon I got a call.
it was frank. what a great surprise!
he said to me, "that was sweet".
that's the word he used: sweet.
not a word you would normally associate
with the acerbic edgy satirist.
we proceeded then to have a wonderful conversation
much like the one in my dream.
and that's the way I remember frank.