Saturday, May 01, 2010

Tip your forty for my hommie.

Recently, my friend Doug died. Douglas Bruce Shephard, Jr. was the first of a lot of things for me: the first guy to ever pick me over whatever cute friend I was with at the time, my first guy pal who I just hung out with for fun, the first guy I ever loved.

I met Doug when I was sophomore in high school. Angela was driving herself, me and Jenn B. from the library on a school night. We stopped at the McDonald’s on Saviers Rd. This cute blond boy and his big friend got out of a white sedan and he stopped to talk to me. Me! Not Jenn B., by the way. He gave me his number on a piece of McDonald’s bag. I still have it somewhere.

We used to talk on the phone all the time. He was a couple years older than me, and I was young. Like fourteen. I was too young to date, but we were just pals, anyway. That didn’t stop me from having the most giant crush on him ever.

Throughout high school, we always talked and hung out. He would date other people and I would, too. He used to come over to my house and kick it with my mom and sister and me. Then we’d go to the mall, or cruise around Oxnard together. Smoke.

I finally got old enough to date and we did that a little, but really we were mainly pals. I loved him. He didn’t have much of anything, really. He was funny as hell, though. Poor, too. No parents to speak of. He used to live with this guy Junior’s Grama. He often had a job, but not always. Probably had a GED, but definitely didn’t graduate high school. He was irresponsible and probably not the best influence. But he and his pals made high school really fun for me and Randi and Krystee.

He took me to my prom. Then we finally started “going out.” If you could call it that. Whatever, I just knew I finally had what I wanted. That summer, the summer of 1995, his luck finally ran out and he had to move to his Dad’s place in Samoa. I was getting ready to go off to college at Berkeley. We drove him to LAX and I said good-bye to him there. I never saw him again.

I went home and listened to Pearl Jam Ten for days. I had never cried that hard in my life, and never have since. When I went to school, we used to write to each other. God, he was an illiterate motherfucker. He couldn’t spell for shit. Misused quotations everywhere. “Your” hommie, Doug” was how he would sign those letters.

In college, I got a boyfriend who was kind of mean and broke my heart. Then, I met the love of my life, Babe. Doug and I stopped writing each other, but Doug was happy for me. I thought about him over the years, and heard occasional updates from Randi and Kryst. He didn’t do well with his life, but that wasn’t a surprise.

He died of a drug overdose a couple of weeks ago and left behind a little daughter. What a dummy, huh? I never knew I would care if he died, but I do. He was so funny and so nice to me and I wish he would have had a wonderful life, like I have.


Ma said...

That was a good tribute to Doug, your friend.
His life had some good elements and some not so good but aren`t all of our lives like that.
It`s too bad he couldn`t have overcome the drug-thing.
He was a good man. That`s how I will remember him.
Love, Ma

Ang said...

I remember that night at McDonalds dude. I don't think I will ever forget it. I will say a little prayer for him later on okay. Mom is right. Our lives are filled with good and bad stuff. I like to think that the bad outweighs the good most of the time.:)

Ang said...

Hahaha! Mom just told me what I wrote, and I meant the good outweighs the bad most of the time!:)

LiMoNeRo said...

fucken doug!!!! he was doing so good when he was working with me at camarillo plumbing, he had stopped smoking shit while he was there, i got along with him even tough he was like 8 years older than me cuz he grew up in my neighborhood in eastside lemonwood of oxnard and knew alot of my older homies i saw him a couple years ago at the ampm on rose and channel islands and he wasnt doing to good i just found out yesterday from another ex co-worker at camarillo plumbing ill miss him RIP DOUG SHEP-HARD

LiMoNeRo said...

i hope his baby momma doesnt badmouth him to his daughter, he was a good father, my boy and his little girl are the same age

Anonymous said...

I live in Phoenix. I dated Doug when he was 24-27. We went down the wrong path together. We eventually broke up for that reason. I straightened out. Years go by and he finds me on FB, tells me he is doing better. I google him to see how he is doing, and I came across this blog. I want to thank you for sharing such fine words and fond memories of Doug. He was a good guy, loved his family and was an awesome artist. I'll always wonder if there was something I could have done different....I'll always be grateful for him though and I hope he has finally found peace. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.