Jerry was my twin brother and Pam was a college friend of his. Pam and I were friends too but Jerry was closer to her than I was. Looking at the picture, I remembered where it was taken—at a college picnic, almost 40 years ago. Jerry and Pam are laughing in the photo.
When I got married in the late 70’s, Jerry and Pam came to the wedding together. I remember my wife and I double dating with them one New Year’s Eve. Jerry and Pam were never a couple, just very good friends. Why they were never more than that became clear in the early 80’s.
My twin brother was a gay man and he finally came out of the closet. When he told Pam that he was gay, suddenly their friendship ended. This was something Jerry and I talked very little about but I know it hurt him with Pam no longer wanting to be his friend.
The years went by and I seldom thought of Pam. Jerry moved to California and then Seattle. I went through a divorce. Jerry had new friends, he had lovers. One of those lovers came him AIDS.
He died in September of 1994 at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. I was at the Cincinnati Airport getting ready to get on a plane to be with him. I didn’t make it.
A few months after his death, while drinking alone in my apartment, I got to thinking about Pam. I went through the phone book trying to find her phone number. What I was going to say to her I’m not sure but I remember feeling angry about how she had dumped him. She probably would have gotten a piece of my mind.
Now there she was with my brother in the photo album, both looking so happy to be together. It was a long time ago.
I don’t understand why people sometimes do mean things to other people. I know its all water under the bridge now but that photo brought back memories that were good and special. It’s a shame as to what happened just a few years later to make that photo now a little bit sad.
(Image from photobucket.com)