by Solomon Tate
There was a guy busking near Yonge & Dundas at a time when the city frowned upon such artistic endeavors, and I stopped to listen with Farberman and Goodfellow. “He’s actually pretty good.”, I said.
“Not bad.”, Goodfellow agreed. “But what the hell is he singing about? Its inane and cursory, not to mention somewhat derivative.”
“Why do you always have to do that?”, Farberman asked Goodfellow. “Why do you always have to fling words around that no regular person ever says?”
“Because”, Goodfellow replied. “I am not regular.” It was true, Goodfellow always enjoyed speaking as if he were a Rhodes Scholar. The truth is, he barely squeaked through University. But to his credit, he was an exceptionally perceptive writer.
“You’re not normal, either.”, Farberman quipped.
Goodfellow was right though, the lyric and concept of the songs were flat and uninspiring. There were times when I missed playing. I hadn’t been involved in a project since the demise of The Habits, and I had this recurring sense that my existence had become something like Canadian Whiskey with the alcohol removed. Goodfellow, Farberman and I headed off for a night of degradation and debauchery that only the mind of Fielding Goodfellow could envision. We hit Filmore’s and The Brass Rail, notable titty bars, and wound up at Larry’s, a dive bar that catered to the disreputable, dissatisfied, and disenfranchised pseudo anarchists that had sprung up across the city like weeds in a garden. Some all girl punk band, Pussy Riot, who Goodfellow seemed to know were playing, and he guaranteed a good time for all.
Fielding Goodfellow was many things, but he was never ever wrong about what constituted a good time. We wound up partying with the band through most of the night, getting wasted and getting laid. Even Farberman seemed to enjoy himself, although there were several occasions in which he freaked out over the giant ducks doing calisthenics in the room. Farberman hated ducks, although we once shared the Peking Duck at Szechuan Palace, and he seemed to like it.
A few days later, after returning from one of Goodfellow’s peyote induced parallel universes filled with Spanish speaking lizard people, Farberman’s dog went missing. This was really nothing new, I mean every year we went through the same thing. The dog somehow got out of the yard and went out looking for a canine call girl. Farberman searched frantically for the animal, and each year he returned unsuccessful to find Spock, the Labrador, laying across the front porch of his parents’ house, smoking a cigarette. But this time Farberman said it was different. All of Spock’s toys, his water and food bowls and his leash were gone as well. “Are you suggesting that your dog has run away from home?”, Goodfellow asked with his patented brand of psycho-sarcasm.
“All of the evidence seems to support that theory.”, Farberman replied.
“You’re out of your fucking mind.”, Goodfellow told him. I was siding with Goodfellow on this one. It seemed unlikely that the dog could have packed up all of his belongings and hit the road.
“What would he need the leash for?”, I asked.
“I have to try to find him.”, Farberman said. And with that, Goodfellow, Farberman and I set off in search of Spock. We started at the Farberman house, and found that indeed all of the dog’s belongings were gone, from the bowls to the food and even the toys. All of it was gone. It was as if there had never been a dog here. Goodfellow proposed a theory that Spock was a victim of alien abduction, which Farberman quickly refuted as unfounded and obtuse. So, we wandered the neighborhood, checking backyards, alleyways, and the ravine that ran through the area, without any measure of success, and wound up sitting down in the middle of a park that Spock was particularly fond of.
“Have you asked your parents anything about this?”, I asked.
“They’re the ones who told me that Spock was gone.”, Farberman replied.
“Maybe they meant that he had died.”, Goodfellow blurted out as he and I dropped a hit of purple haze. Farberman sat motionless, deep in thought.
“I have to go talk to my parents.”, he stated, as he got up and headed out of the park. Goodfellow and I remained at the park for a while, waiting for the longest train we had ever seen pass by. When we caught up with Farberman, he was quite distraught. Spock was gone. Really gone. He had died. He was old, and well, shit happens. It was sad though, I mean, he had that dog for 18 years, that’s like 126 in Spock years. Farberman just wanted to be alone, so Goodfellow and I, still reeling from the haze, went back to the park with the train.
It was Goodfellow, surprisingly enough who came up with the plan for the memorial service. He thought that it might make Farberman feel better. “Put some closure to it.”, he said. With the help of Farberman’s parents, we tracked down Spock’s body at the Veterinarian, and recovered it for burial. Even though the Farbermans had paid for cremation, Goodfellow secured the remains by trading some of his sacred hallucinogenics with a veterinarian assistant. “It seems like the least we can do for the scientist. He’s not a bad guy.”, Goodfellow said. “He just needs to loosen the fuck up.” This too was true. Farberman was without a doubt the most sober, solemn and resolute person I knew.
Goodfellow went all out for the service. he had invited several people to attend, and participate. He managed to obtain a small, headstone prop from a theatre company, and had SPOCK carved into it. We arrived at the park the deceased loved so much. Farberman was in awe of what he was witnessing. The girls from Pussy Galore were there, singing a somewhat punked up version of The Beach Boys ‘Forever’, but it was nicely done. Spock was laid to rest in his favorite park, with a headstone to mark his final resting place. Goodfellow had retrieved his leash from the vet as well, and gave this to Farberman, as balloons were released into a clear blue sky. I swear I saw Farberman cry, but I suppose he needed to. When the service was over, everyone left, leaving me and Goodfellow to stand silently with our friend. Goodfellow had outdone himself, and I was surprised at just how thoughtful this usually arrogant ass was. It seemed that he was not as big of a prick as he wanted us to believe. He did indeed have feelings, and he cared. I never really looked at him in quite the same way. We stayed friends for many years, until our paths veered off in different directions. He still writes, ventures through time and space, and occasionally sends me coded messages of his whereabouts, which I have never been able to decipher. I am certain however, that he is totally wasted at the time, and most likely sitting in his living room. Farberman went on to work in government supported research, until his disappearance years later. And me, well, I wrote some books, some short stories, and taught creative writing. That singular event brought the three of us closer than we had ever been. Even Farberman and Goodfellow developed a new found respect for each other. And I have decided that when my time comes, I would like to go out like Spock. Old and tired, with friends singing on a clear, sunny day. Just be sure that Goodfellow doesn’t bring any lizards or ducks. It will scare the crap out of Farberman.