Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Oscars and Terry

Terry was a friend of mine, one of my best friends when I was in my 20's and early 30's. Terry was smart, quick witted and never afraid to speak his mind (and even had a glass of wine poured over his head by another friend for doing just that). Terry introduced me to movies...well, he didn't introduce me to movies in that I'd been to movies before we were friends, but he did introduce me to movies in a whole new way. With Terry, I saw newly released films, artsy films, documentaries and classics.

We always saw them on the big screen. We went to obscure little theaters and saw Dark Victory and Now Voyager, Citizen Kane, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane and lots of Hitchcock classics, from Rear Window to Vertigo, from Rope to The Birds.

We saw Mel Gibson and swooned over him in Gallipoli and knew that Gallipoli was 100 times better than Chariots of Fire, though Chariots of Fire got all the fanfare.

We also loved to watch the Oscars, separately, and the dish about them the next day. Who was wearing awful dresses, who was stunning, who looked like a fool accepting their reward, who shined.

One of the last times I saw Terry, he was in a hospital bed and he had dementia which came from AIDS, which he was battling against. He thought he was living in a different time zone than we were (maybe he was, who knows) and his lover told me not to expect him to be lucid, he hadn't been for many days already.

I saw him the day after the Oscar telecast. And we dished....he seemed totally lucid to me. We talked about gowns and movies and who deserved the Oscar they got and who should have gotten one but didn't. We had a grand old time in his hospital room.

As we left and walked down the hallway, his lover pulled me aside and started crying and said, "That's the most lucid I've seen him in days. I put on the Oscar telecast but I didn't know if he even understood it was on. But he talked to you, really talked to you and knew what you were talking about". What could I say?

Terry died not a week later. We were there at the end, but Terry was not conscious. I never spoke to him again.

I will never watch the Oscars without thinking about Terry. Even now, more than 15 years later, I still think of him when I watch them. I still wish I could dish about the Oscars with him.

Terry, wherever you are....I love you and I miss you. Oh and about the whole Heath Ledger getting an Oscar for portraying the Joker thing....


  1. Oh that makes me lucky you two were to be friends. I never watch the awards now because I never see the movies until they come out on DVD...but in high school I saw Citizen Kane and all the Hitchcock movies...very cool!

    I finally have that apron and something else to help with cooking on the way!

  2. Such a beautiful post. I'm glad I read it. What a cool friend Terry was.