Matthew was one of my best friends. He was my brother, my band mate. He was my Neal and I was his Jack. We met at a punk show in a squat in NYC. It was a tense introduction, and we left thinking each other was an asshole.
On another day, we met up at a gas station in Long Island. I was asking directions to a show, he happened to also be going to it so I followed him there, but we hardly spoke. After the show ended, my ex and I headed west; back to NJ. We stopped to eat at a diner. A little while after we sat down Matthew and Jackie walked in. I invited them to sit with us, and by the end of the night we were beginning to be friends. It turned out that, though we met up twice in NYC and he had an easily identifiable NYC accent, he was actually living in Dingmann's Ferry, PA. About thirty minutes from where I lived at the time.
It wasn't long after that Matthew and I were spending a lot of time together. He and I had many things in common. We loved the same music, authors and hobbies. We both grew up in inner city neighborhoods and had difficult relationships with our fathers growing up. We would hike the woods of NJ and PA, sometimes just finding calm places to talk into the night about our confusion of getting through our twenties. We went out skateboarding, went to punk shows, and eventually we started making music together. Matt and I were in two bands together. The music we made back then was a reflection into the confused and angry mind I was in back then, but I remember every note and show we played, and they are some of my most fond memories.
There was a night I needed a friend badly; due to my girlfriend of more than six years and I broking up. Matt came over with a couple six packs of Anchor Steam and we drank and talked into the night. We decided to play some music. I was on my acoustic guitar and Matthew sang. That night, our musical instincts and emotional connection were in perfect sync. We recorded five or six impromptu songs, all completely off the cuff, and they are the most emotional and nostalgic songs I ever wrote. The recording, is sadly, long gone, but that magical night echoes on in my mind.
As time passed, Matthew's relationship with Jackie got more serious. I was having my own complications in life and things were changing. I would see him less. A few weeks would go by, but we would eventually call each other and make time to get together. Eventually, I got an invite to their wedding. I went and had a great time, hoping this was the moment where things would only get better. For my relationship with him. It would not go as planned. I had to move not too long afterward and when I got settled in and tried to call Matt, his cell was disconnected. There had been more than a few times one of us would lose our cell or have to move; we always ended up finding a way to reconnect. That is not the case this time. It is now six years later, and I never received a phone call from him since.
Burned Wood and Lost Wishes: Lost & Found Pt. 2