- Name: Pete M.
- Location: Oakland, CA
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Prepare to be horrified...
Friday, November 19, 2004
My friend Sunny Perkins died this week from severe injuries sustained in an automobile accident far too horrible for me to describe. She was an artist. She was a dancer. She was unbelievably beautiful. She was warm and she was caring and she gave without asking anything in return. She was 27 years old.
I have no idea how to offer any sort of appropriate tribute. Anything I might include would be far outweighed by what I forgot to mention and that thought makes me want to stop right here.
But let me show you a photograph.
That was taken the night I met Sunny. Cagney and Harlow have nothing on us, we said as we laughed. We always laughed. And then as that crazy party raged all around us, we somehow found a quiet corner and Sunny mentioned Saul Bass (who mentions Saul Bass?) and I said, Saul Bass? Are you kidding me? and we knew right then that we shared a glorious dark bond and a warm, kindred spirit.
I find myself hating words at this moment. Words (especially my words) cannot begin to convey the life and fire and magic of this luminous girl. At a time when words are all I have, words have become meaningless.
I'm sitting here at my desk trying to hold on to some piece of you, Sunny, but you're disappearing and I'm terrified because of it. I feel like I'm trying to hold water in my hands. No matter how hard I try, it slips through my grasp, and nothing I can do or say or even write will change this.
So since I have no words, I'll simply offer a memory.
It's one of those magical drizzly winter evenings we only have in San Francisco. You know the kind. We're sitting at the bar in a nearly empty 500 Club drinking Mandarin and Sodas and you decide we need to play a game of pinball. Sure, I say, but you're going to lose. You laugh and punch me in the arm (a little too hard, I might add) and we amble over to the machine. I put a couple of quarters in and you kiss me on the cheek but I'm already focusing on the game with the competitive ferocity of a 6 year-old. And we play and we play and we tell each other dumb stories and we listen to endless songs by the Cure and the Smiths and every so often we look out through the open door and see the lights glowing softly outside in the real world and realize there's no place we need to be, no place we need to go, and we're simply here and we're happy and it's now. And then we look at each other and we giggle like little kids and you jab my flipper so I'll miss the ball and by the time we've finished laughing we can't figure out who won anyway.
Farewell, Sunny. I love you. I always loved you. I'm sorry I never told you those kinds of things while you were here.