Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Friends Found and Lost -- Jai

Reconnecting with Steve has been so wonderful and fun. And while writing to him, I had to dive into my storage drawer full of old journals and notes and keepsakes. There aren't too many, though I'm sure there are more things in a box outside in the garage. But in my joy of finding old (hilarious) journal entries and things Steve had written and given to me (we used to write gobs of poetry and share it with each other) I found two notes from my friend Jai.

These precious artifacts brought tears to my eyes as she died in a house fire in 2003, along with her two babies. Horrible. I'm shocked that it has been four years already.

The two notes are very Jai. Neither have dates on them, but it would have been between 1982 and 1984. Here's the first one -- all spelling and punctuation are hers:
Side 1:
(Top left corner where she folded it up and then wrote a name for delivery)
(Paul Siminon)


(Joe Jackson)
(Jenna Jones)
(Julia Jon)

Then she starts:
Trick: [Kool, great, classy, wonderful, hot; positive adjective]
Whip: [slimy, junk, stupid, brainless, a general waste; a negative adj.]
These are two words my broth. and his gang appropriated at Pun, a couple of years ago
{one word follows but is unreadable}
Anyway, I'm kind of wierd in a lot of ways, one is that I keep secrets really well. There are somethings that I can't say to anyone, can't even say out loud. I even keep some things secret from myself. Sometimes I just won't let myself think about something, in that way, I can keep myself from knowing how I feel about something, I just avoid the thoughts. I may be psychotic, schitsophreanic or sometimes, but I am nice whenever I am able to be (which I think is usually most of the time) and when I can't be, I just try to live through it, minimizing the injuries to other people. So maybe I can't do a good job. So kill me; please don't want to be the one to snuffit m'self.

Side 2:
Julia Jon is a cool name! Do you want it? (I once named a girl Jenna Jones.)
Then in someone else's handwriting it says:
Day 1,
I'm bored my gizzard just hangs there

Back to Jai
I found this on the floor, interesting ┬┐no? This is here in Existential and we are supposed to have our Heinlein Book. So, here I am with Bill's Needle-eyes poking right through me because he's mad at me and Jos and Shelly because none of the three of us This is so funny: Jos & Shelly were begging Bill to let them go to their lockers to get their books (of course he wouldn't let them) so J & S are wandering around the room making trouble, picking up books and generally being a nuisance. Jos is being so funny it's driving Bill nuts. Yow!

The second note was also folded to a small rectangle and the address said:
to Julia Jon
(check out the paperclip!)
(don't lose it!)

Of course the paperclip is not there...

Inside it says:
to Julia Jon
I just rewread your letter that you gave me a while ago. I write things better too. Anyways, did I ever tell you that I really enjoyed that letter and it's sentiment? Well, anyway, I know we have been through some quite rocky times. Times in which you wanted to dump me in the dirty river. Thanks for not. I really hope that the important friendship we have (important to me) will continue to last. I need it, as I'm sure you do. I still thank (God or whatever) that I found you as a friend.
Please forgive me for all the less than good or nice things that I've done or said: and accept me with all of my fallabilites.
I wish to be as good or better friends, as ever. YOW!

I went to Family Life Thrift today,
Check out my new plaid shirts!
Check out Elvis Costello, my new album is very trick (ask me about "Trick" and "Whip")
Love, Karin Lea

(Typical photo of Karen -- "Karen! Let me take your picture!" and she would pose thusly.)

She came to school named Karen, then changed her name to Karin. Then a year later to Jai. And Jai she stayed. We became friends, as she told me, because she was new to our school in her Junior year (my sophomore year) and she looked around at people in one of her classes (that I was in) and decided I looked like the nicest person. So she chose me. And we were friends. She introduced me to music I had never heard of: Adam Ant, U2, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, The Fabulous Pink Poodles, The Waitresses. Maui didn't have a pop music FM station so New Wave stuff was not readily available. And Jai had moved from Oahu (The Big City!) with all her vinyl. We went shopping at thrift stores for men's suit coats and shirts. We were on the swim team. There was something wacky and different about her that I had never met in another person. I was all small town girl and she was all big city all-knowing teenager. I adored her. (Except, apparently, when I was mad at her about something -- see the above note.)

After she died, I got a tattoo in her honor. She had become an artist and jeweler, making lovely lovely cloisionne pieces to sell from her company, Jairations. I borrowed her logo:

and had the artist at Sunset Strip Tattoo Parlor copy and create a tattoo version.

Jai will always be in my heart, but somehow that wasn't enough.

I miss my darling Karen.

Jai, James and Jessica's memorial page.

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Where's your first?
First was on my bum. (I was shy). Second is on my shoulder. Third is as you see it.
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