Thursday, February 16, 2006

Johnny Rumble:
Ian Spears...

Ian Spears is the greatest friend I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Maybe not the great person, but he was most assuredly an awesome friend. Through all the good times and the rough, from the wastelands to the highlands, he was always by my side, pushing me farther than I had ever gone before. Hopefully, I did the same for him.

Ian has a kind of personality that really rubs against you, until you get to know him. I remember him being incredibly outgoing, easy to work with, and at times, a real slut. He is always with a different woman every night, but in time he did fall for one particular girl. And when she rejected him, he fell into the biggest depression he ever had. It was bad; he almost gave up on women until he graduated. For Ian, this was about the same as suicide. Fortunately, he came out of it and went back to his normal sluttish ways.

Physically, Ian stood at about six foot six inches. At about 195 pounds, he wasn’t imposing, just visible. He always wore a bright smile and friendly expression. The kind of expression you would see on a perma-stoner. He had fairly short dirt blond hair that he wore in an English Mohawk style. His ice-blue eyes seemed to search the area. Some people said they were looking for trouble. His closest friends knew they were looking for something else. The best way to describe him was as a big, happy, albeit horny, kid.

The two things that will always stick with me are when we skipped the last day of school to go hot tubing, and when we bridge jumping. First, the hot tub. Located in a gated community, we had to break in to gain access to it. When we did, all hell broke loose. We (4 guys and 3 women) got liquored up, and dress down. Jensen and Ian were both in the nude, and I was helping myself to my bottle of 21 year old Glenmorangie. And a 12 year old bottle of Old Pulteney. Sadly, about ½ cup of the Glenmorangie got wasted. Right in the middle of one of my gulps of it, Ian said something so hilarious, that I shot the scotch right through my nose. Which brought a roar of laughter. Not to mention a ton of pain to my nostrils. Ian that day introduced me to my future girlfriend. While I was piss ass drunk.

The second “incident” also happened while we were under the influence of bottled stupidity. Ian, me, and about four other people decided to go bridge jumping in an Oklahoma thunderstorm into a flooded river. Like I said, bottled stupidity. We drove to 122nd and Sooner, found the bridge to jump off, and pulled over. This particular bridge ran over a tributary of the Canadian River. The river, however, was about 60 feet below us. After a preliminary swim (how we didn’t drown I don’t know), we climbed over the hand railing. Ian and I were going to be the only ones to jump on this fateful day. We had already played Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who would go first. Ian lost (or won, depending on how you look at it). As he was looking down, he lost his nerve. So…I…helped him on his way. One shove, 60 feet, and an impact later, he was looking up at me inventing new cuss words. And at about this point, I was starting to lose my nerve as well. But I guess I got to a point were I just didn’t care about anything. College, my girlfriend, my financial issues, my family, my pickled liver and kidneys, I just stop caring about any of it. I took the plunge. It was the pure freedom. For those 3 seconds I was nothing and everything.

When I hit the water, I didn’t feel anything. Just as I broke the surface of the water, the first thing Ian yelled was (appropriately, seeing as how fat I am), “Tidal Wave!” I just saluted him with one outstretched finger. When I related my experiences on the bridge to him, we got into a big philosophical discussion about the feeling of freedom, then into what is freedom, and into 3 other topics about freedom. It was liberating not to talk to a conservative adult about politics.

Ian and I had many intellectual conversations, mostly about human emotions, Women, and the state of Scotland and Ireland. It was the ones about emotion that made me think about my life. He told me one thing that stuck with me, “In life there are straight roads and there are crooked ones. While the straight roads are the simplest and easiest to travel, it’s the curved ones that are the most fulfilling when you look back. You see some corners that were shallow and some severe. When you look at the severe ones, you may think, ‘How did I make it through alive?’ And then you remember that those times were the times where you friends were there for you. The times when you had the most fun. What would you rather travel? A straight road or a curved one?” And of course being Ian, he also added, “Besides…it’s the blind corners where you can’t see who you’re sleeping with tonight.” Ever so insightful. But what’s so great about what he said, is that it erased all of my worries, all of my depressions, all of my potential suicide.
When I met Ian, I was going through a particularly rough spot in my life. But after that one evening, every time I went out on an expedition with him, I was enjoying myself. We caused chaos in the streets, in the taverns, and in the bars. I went home feeling good about myself every damn time. Ian Spears saved my life. At this point in time, nobody knows where he is, but one thing’s assured, I owe him a big debt of gratitude. Wherever you are my friend, this whiskey chaser’s for you.

1 comment:

  1. that was an amazing and wonderful story. ive known people like that and like to think ive inspired similiar things in others