My bff Jeff

Yesterday when I was filling out my Friday Fill-Ins, I talked about my bff Jeff. I know I have mentioned him many of times, but the few attempts at posts about him have always ended up in the trash. The relationship I had with Jeff is always hard to describe, we were best friends but we didn't hang out much. We talked on the phone all the time, even though we lived a few miles from each other. We often would finish each other's sentences. And we had our own code and phrases that we used. I have only had 1 boyfriend that actually got along with Jeff. The other 2 tolerated him (but tolerated might be a bit too nice).

Jeff and I met in late 1987. It was an awkward sexual attempt that didn't go anywhere. We didn't meet again until a year later. This time I had gone into the restaurant he worked (I didn't know he worked there). We talked for awhile and I soon found myself going there quite a bit to chat. We had 2 more sexual attempts and we realized that we were better at being friends than we would ever be as lovers.

He took me to my first gay establishment (an adult bookstore). I took him to his first gay bar. And we both discovered the gay side of Chicago together.

Over the years, our paths were constantly crossing. He was the first to move to C/U. I would follow a year later when I moved in with my boyfriend. We worked together a few times, but were often warned about talking too much. We always argued about dating. I had said that I would like to try dating and relationships, where he said he would never date, he wanted to be single. He did have a few "special" friends, I know one he was in love with. He had met Chris in St. Louis and they had hit it off very well. He was soon making weekend trips down there all the time to see this guy. He never called him a boyfriend or said that they were dating, but this was the first time I had ever seen Jeff so into a guy. He was tired of driving and Chris wasn't going to move here. I know Jeff was contemplating moving there, but they decided to take a break to see how it would go. Jeff received a phone call about a month after the break had started. It was from Chris's roommate. Chris had died in a car accident the night before. I know Jeff was heartbroken.

Jeff didn't date again for probably 8 years. This was when we were pretty much on the phone with each other all the time. We didn't hang out much, and we never went out to the bars together. He started seeing a guy from Champaign. I am not sure how long they went out, but Jeff didn't tell me about him until after they had been seeing each other for awhile. David (not his real name) was a lawyer in town. David has a very nice house in the rich area of town, but Jeff never wanted to live with him. So David bought a house for Jeff to live in. He also bought 2 different cars for Jeff to use. And when Jeff left his job, David started buying rental property for Jeff to take care of. They didn't spend nights with each other very often. They would eat dinner together and talk. But they didn't spend much time together. I think I spent more time with Jeff than David did. And we didn't spend much time together. So in a way, I guess Jeff got his relationship without actually dating that he didn't want to do.

It was David who called me in December, 2006. I was just finishing up my shift at the grocery store and was in the office talking to the office manager. Jeff's name showed up on the caller ID and I was a bit upset with him because he hadn't returned my phone calls in the past 3 or 4 days. I can't remember what I said when I answered the phone, but I was shocked it was David and not Jeff. I was in ever more shock when he told me that Jeff's sister had found Jeff's body laying on the kitchen floor. He said he would call back with the funeral details but he just wanted me to know. It wasn't until about 10 minutes later that I could even begin to think. It hadn't even clicked in my brain yet that he was dead.

Friday would have been Jeff's 39th birthday.