Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Missing One

Today should have been Colleen Compher's fortieth birthday.

We lost her to a heroin overdose in April of 1996, meaning her body would never see the ravages of time and diet that our thirties, forties, etc. have brought to those that survive her. She was my friend, my good friend. Some of my friends were fortunate enough to get even closer to her than I was, but here I speak of things that I know of only a little. These friends know her better than I did. I just consider myself lucky to have known her the time that I did, for she was a rare individual who's outside beauty matched most of what was inside.

What sticks me in the heart to this day was that it seemed like H was a demon she had slain. I hate heroin, it's toll in my life and our culture has been too fucking significant. I've never done it, and I never will; I hope anyone not recognizing the wisdom of these words will just take my word for it. Because of my vicarious experiences with it, any news of someone familiar to me taking it is like hearing that same someone has received a death sentence. It becomes a matter of time. For Colleen, I reckon it was probably around 13 - 14 years. I am sure some eyes that see these words may be able to correct any error I may have made in regards to time frame; I'm sure you see my point.

I met her at Eric Shaeffer's house in 1984, along with Monique White. Colleen was dating Rainier, my friend Renard's brother. I didn't really get to know Colleen until a little later, when Renard, Andrea and I had a place in Torrance. She would move to Toronto at least once in the 1980's; we remained in fairly close contact after her eventual return and up until the time of her death. Not close enough for me to have been aware of her return to heroin, but I doubt I could have done anything even if I knew.

I am just really sorry that she got caught up in it.

I love and miss you Colleen.


Blogger Alex said...

Thanks for that, Thomas. The picture you chose is pretty special, since it shows her the way I imagined her to be in her later years, happier, freer, a time when she and I were just getting to know each other again, rekindling our friendship and more after her spell with Brian.

What do you do when you've achieved your goals? She always wanted to be in a band, and then she was; she always wanted to design fashion and then she did; she decided to kick the junk, and she did. Maybe she figured she could just try it again, years later, just a little........

I loved her deeply and I still can't believe she's gone. The picture that stays with me is a beautiful woman, eyes artfully hidden by hair, lighting a cigarette that was clamped betweeen her front teeth, lips pulled back in a smile, dressed in a style that she and few others could pull off. Playful, brash, insecure, sexy, contradictory and curious. One of a kind. Happy Birthday Colleen.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Nico said...

I miss her too, Tom. I miss her a lot.

In all the time I spent with her (and that wasn't SO much time, but I guess I'm grateful for any at all), I think there was a grand total of ONCE that she didn't surprise me with what she did, what she said, who she was.

She's more than missing. She's missed.


7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colleen and I were friends through out high school. It was a beginning of the spiral down that robbed her of life. She was an amazing, beautiful, fun, crazy, spontaneous friend. This many years later I still think of her.

Thank you for posting this. I truly was just looking to see if I could find anything on her and I stumbled onto this. It is easy to see you knew the same Collen I did. She was one amazing friend.

2:27 PM  
Blogger TRS said...

Speak up, friend! Identify yourself!


2:47 PM  
Blogger Wikileaking need uh Wikitweaking said...

September 1980 was the first time I had heard the name Colleen. And here she was in a freshman class with me at West High. Seeing Colleen was like watching a tree blow in the wind or watching time lapse of the tides. I was mesmerized. If only I were as bubbly and as graceful as she. Seeing Colleen smile and put a fingernail up to her teeth, her eyes spoke louder by being tucked behind her white ropes of gold. Annette Comeaux is a classmate we lost in July 1982 that I will never forget, just like Colleen. I believe that her spirit is still with us. She will move into the light when she is ready. I am David Becker. Class of 1984 at West High. I am a fan of Colleen Compher. 33 years and counting.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colleen was my soft place to fall, one of my great loves, and still my muse. She was the first person I met at Pepperdine, she flipped my switch and I miss her more than I can express. I wrote a song for her "Comfort for Colleen"- and I keep re-writing it and re-writing it because I'm trying to perfect the transmission. The main sentiment being "If I could do it all again, I would be your Heroin(e)". I'm sorry. I love you. I won't grow up. I think about you every day.

11:05 PM  

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