He was really a gentle guy, very kind.
That’s what I remember most about him, just his kind and thoughtful nature.
- Mark Lanegan
Goodbye, my friend, thank you for the dream
A few things are able to make Mark Lanegan find his peace of mind: one of them is the night.
He adores to hear it sinuously slipping through the folds of the day and slowly crawling on the floor, and then let it wrap him up like one of those blankets in which his mother used to bundle him up when he was sick.
Every time Mark enjoys pretending to be taken by surprise by the dark, as if this childish ritual could allow him to enjoy even more the quiet and the stillness that this one is always able to bring him.
But not today.
An empty bottle of whiskey lies abandoned on the little table while, on the couch, the man is curled up like a hedgehog in the middle of a highway during the rush hour: there’s no holy ghost you could offer a drink to, no… there are only Mark, a headache on the verge of exploding and a handful of pictures that are continuously flowing in front of his eyes, as if they were a stuck record.
They are the mental Polaroids of a friend, one of the few things he can cling to right now.
Probably the only thing.
The letters that were constantly filling his mailbox and that were always able to make him feel uncomfortable… the compliments always embarrassed him, especially if they were coming from that guy who claimed to be a huge fan of him.
Mark has never believed to all that paranormal bullshit… to be honest – nothing to find fault with Demi Moore, huh! – he thinks that Ghost really sucks.
That day spent with him and Dylan Carlson, dressing like real fairies – pointless to say, he looked great in a woman dress too… the same couldn’t be said about Mark, who could have boasted about South American transsexuals relatives.
But how could you explain the evanescent twenty-seven years old guy who is peeping at him from the door?
The afternoons spent in listening to Lead Belly and those spent in recording his songs… who knows where those fuckin’ tapes had gone.
“I’m roaring drunk and you’re not here… go away” Mark wearily mumbled, turning his back on the transparent silhouette that now is going near him.
“Let’s go for a short walk, Mark.” the guy spurs on him, and in a flash the two are already outside the house. Mark doesn’t know how he got there.
That day he went to visit him at The Sorrento Hotel, they were watching T.V. together and Smells Like Teen Spirits’ video had been broadcasted; he had instantaneously become pissed off and had thrown a shoe at the TV with all his strength… then he had turned it off, and below on the street an auto radio had begun to play it out loud, while he couldn’t do nothing but letting out a yell full of anger and plopping again on the bed, with a pillow pressed to his ears.
The two of them walk side by side on the deserted road: nobody dares to look up or break the silence with some stupid words, so both of them limited themselves to focusing on the feeble noise that their shoes’ soles create in contact with the asphalt, the grass and the pebbles.
At least, that’s what Mark does.
Phoning him and not receiving an answer at all,
hanging up and trying again, hoping to be luckier than before, but it was pointless,
trying for the umpteenth time and then understanding that he has just left the receiver off the hook…
punching the wall.
There are many things he would like to ask him right now, but he doesn’t; he’s probably afraid that he could be immediately swallowed up by the darkness – after all, he likes this silent walk – but he also believes that asking him all these questions won’t change anything… maybe he already knows them.
Getting out of Van’s car,
avoiding all those fuckin’ paparazzi with their flashes already lined up,
coming in and finding a paralyzed Novoselic with his hand in his ones,
Courtney that was letting the guests choose one of his guitars to take away,
his head leaned on a pillow and roughly fixed…
the desire of puking the guts out in the first flowerpot within reach.
Mark raises his head and casts sidelong glances at him; but by now it’s pitch-black and-
“You’re tryin’ to see if I still got the hole in the head, huh?”
The man jumps surprised and violently blushes, quickly grumbling some excuses made up at the moment, while the other hunches his shoulders and keeps on walking like nothing has happened.
“I thought you didn’t care…” the silhouette goes on, and this time Mark doesn’t even try to excuse himself. It’s true, he wanted to see if the hole was still there.
“Whatevs… we’ve reached our destination.”
Only now Mark realizes that he’s arrived at his house; he reluctantly follows him inside, he watches him sitting on the parquet, crossing his legs and sinking even more into the greenish and brownish sweater – the sleeves rigorously full of holes to better welcome the thumbs – and even crying a little bit.
After ten minutes he stands up and reaches him at the doorjamb, and Mark can’t help but being stunned when his hand doesn’t remain in mid-air but is able to perfectly fit his shoulder’s hollow, like it used to do in the past.
The other one half smiles and, with his great pleasure, accepts the silent invitation to not waste that night so unusual yet unexpectedly knowing.
Going out, the two of them avoid to pass near the greenhouse.
It’s almost 5 A.M. and the sun is going to rise in Seattle: the two men have walked the whole night, but Mark doesn’t feel any sign of tiredness. A bad feeling, however, yes.
He knows in his heart that their time is almost drawn to an end, but he doesn’t want to think about it at all.
But it’s so hard… It’s impossible for him not to think about the night they have just spent together and ask himself if it’ll be right sharing this moment with someone else or keeping it to himself… It’s impossible for him not to ask himself if all this makes sense or if it’s just a side effect caused by the alcohol and the mourning.
After a while the two of them stop: the little river near Mark’s house sparkles with rosy and scarlet flakes, reflecting the sporadic glimmerings of the last stars that are about to retire themselves.
Mark loves the night, that’s true, but he’s also able to appreciate the dawn with the same intensity.
“Well, see ya soon, ok? Take care of yourself” the silhouette at his side suddenly bursts out, leaving him taken aback.
Mark immediately turns back and the last thing he sees, before Kurt falls through the folds of the night, are his dimples.
The man smiles too: maybe in those tiny curves there’s all that Kurt has always looked for and that the night has finally been able to make him find.