From: (Peggy Currid)
Newsgroups: alt.peeves, alt.tasteless
Subject: DTG: VJ
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User-Agent: slrn/ (UNIX)
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Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 01:03:34 GMT
X-Trace: 1003971814 (Wed, 24 Oct 200120:03:34 CDT)
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 20:03:34 CDT
Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Xref: alt.peeves:250430 alt.tasteless:238932

Vinnie Jordan, 1955-2001

My good friend died this afternoon at 1:45 pm PST.

I first became aware of Vinnie Jordan on alt.peeves, when I began lurkingin 1994. In August of that year, I made my first post, and on October31,he responded via e-mail to something I posted.

We didn't strike up a fast friendship, but we did exchange infrequente-mails until 1997, when I met him in real life, at a Bay Area peevefest.I can't say we became good friends after that, but over the next coupleofyears, we did. By 1999, I was making trips to the Bay Area a coupleoftimes a year, and our friendship came to grow deeper and closer overthattime.

About that same time, Vinnie dropped off the 'net because his homecomputer broke and he didn't have reliable 'net access, so we begancalling each other frequently -- once a month or so for a while. Forthepast year, we exchanged e-mails a couple of times a week when he couldgetto a computer, and phone calls weekly.

I had plans to visit Vinnie the weekend of 9-14-01. The events of 9-11delayed that visit, but I finally got there the following weekend.Irented a cabin at a resort in Felton, picked up Vinnie in Santa Cruz,andwe spent the entire time sitting in the cabin, drinking (big surprise!),listening to music, and talking. Talking about Vinnie's life and howfucked up it had gotten. He was severely depressed. The night beforeIarrived, Vinnie had gotten word that his mother, who lived in Vegas,hadsuffered an anyeurism and was hospitalized. Vinnie was torn betweenstaying in California to see me, and going to Vegas to be with hismother.Much of my first night there was spent listening to Vinnie talk abouthis(dysfunctional) family and his hopes of getting back together withGinny-- they'd broken up and he'd moved into a residence hotel in SantaCruz,the Palomar Inn. He told me he needed to get sober so that he couldwinhis Ginny back. I told him he needed to get into rehab, but he shruggedoff my well-intended advice.

The next morning, Saturday, Vinnie called his sister and found out thathis mother had died Friday night.

The rest of our weekend was mellow -- other than a quick trip to Montereyto kill some time, we hung out at the cabin.

On Monday, I dropped him back off at the Palomar, gave him a kiss andahug goodbye, and drove to the airport. That was the last time I sawhim.

Two weeks later, on October 5, the ObSpouse and I went on vacation.Icalled Vinnie and left a message that I'd be away for a week. Whenwereturned, I didn't hear from him for a week, but wasn't particularlyworried. However, by the second week (October 22), I was worried, soIcalled the Palomar -- Vinnie didn't have a phone, but the residentmanagerwould take a message for him. I asked to leave the message and themanagertold me that Vinnie had been taken to the hospital (coughing up blood)2weeks ago and was still there, as far as he knew.

I called him at the hospital. The man I spoke to wasn't the Vinnie Iknew.He was completely incomprehensible, and I wasn't even sure he understoodwho I was or what I was saying. I told him I was going to call Ginny;surely, she would know what was going on. He said, "No." I understoodthatclearly. I ended our conversation and told him I would call him againsoon.

"I love you, Red," Those words I did understand clearly."I love you, too."

And of course, I immediately called Ginny (even though they had brokenup,they remained on good terms). Ginny, unfortunately, didn't even knowthatVinnie was in the hospital. That was a difficult conversation, butI toldher what little I knew.

The next day (October 23), I called the hospital again and spoke tothecharge nurse on his floor, hoping to find out more. She explained thathewas in the advanced stages of liver failure and was in guarded condition.I asked if or when she expected him to be released and her responsewas,"the doctors haven't said anything about that." She told me that Vinnie'smind was gone; however, he did have moments of lucidity. She said ifI'dleave my number, she would call me if she had any news. She cautionedme,though, that she would call "only if it's really good news, or reallybadnews." After we hung up, I called and had some flowers sent to himandsent him an e-mail through the hospital's web site.

I just now got home from work, and there was a call from the hospitalonthe answering machine. My heart dropped to the floor. I prayed thenursewas calling with good news but knew somehow that wouldn't be the case.Thenurse told me that Vinnie died this afternoon.

Right now, I'm too numb to do anything other than write this rathercoldsynopsis of events. I've shed no tears yet, but they will come soon.

Goodnight, my sweet prince.