Wow, what a blurry old photo! Look at those happy kids, their whole lives spread out ahead of them! Of course, that was 35 years ago, and life has a way of surprising you.
I met Krista when I was in 8th grade. She had just transferred to our school and was involved in a violent altercation with one of the school’s “mean girls.” Krista was not having it, apparently living by a “win a fight with the biggest people in the prison on your first day” sort of creedo. It made an impression. And when she turned up in my German class later that afternoon, we quickly became friends.
She only lived in Durango for a few years before moving up to Boulder to live with her mom, but by then, she was already one of my best friends.
The first over-night road trip I took without parental supervision, I went to Boulder with three other friends and we hung out with her. And when she came back to Durango for the summer, she was a vital part of our group.
When I was seventeen, we cut open our hands and became bood brothers–the two of us and our friend Ivan. Despite the miles, despite the years, we’ve been blood ever since. And though I haven’t seen her in person for far too long, I’ve loved her like family for decades.
Ivan passed in 2013. I wrote about it here.
Krista passed around 2AM this morning.
And I am a wreck.
Krista is the one who got me listening to Pink Floyd, and the reason that The Final Cut is my favorite album. She’s the reason I sing Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” at karaoke.
I drove across state to take her to her senior prom, as pictured at the top of the post. We to a Moroccan restaurant, inspiring my ongoing love of Morocco and Moroccan food. On that trip, she introduced me to an acquaintance who went on to become the first girl to ever truly break my heart. And when that happened, Krista was there with sympathy, support, and an angry, profanity laced tirade on the answering machine of the offending party.
You didn’t cross Krista. She would cut you. My bully roommate first year of college was a jock and he was rightfully terrified of her.
I loved her for that.
The same night she left that angry answering machine message, Krista and I stayed up crazy late in her living room drinking instant Cafe Vienna coffee from a tin and writing what would turn into my first screenplay. I still maintain that it was a masterpiece.
She saw Cronenberg’s The Fly on acid and even though I wasn’t there to see it, her retelling of the experience is one of my favorite memories. She was also who I saw Jacob’s Ladder in theaters with, whispering to each other ever 20 minutes “What do YOU think is going on?”
When she got married, I drove across the state to attend her wedding. Then many years later, when I took my first long trip on my own, I flew out to the east coast to stay with her and her family (ironically, and unplanned, on her anniversary).
It’s because of Krista that I saw New York, that I went to the The Mütter Museum in Philly, that I was introduced to Hatian food at her favorite place in Flatbush.
My brain is a file cabinet drawer simply overflowing with memories of Krista. She was outspoken, and sometimes she rubbed people the wrong way. She was fierce and kind. There was no one else like her. There never will be again.
The last time I “saw” her was a pandemic Zoom viewing of the new Bill & Ted movie, because there was no one else she could imagine seeing it with. Though we said we should do that again, it didn’t happen.
Life got in the way.
She reached out to tell me of her cancer diagnosis a month ago today. Multiple masses had appeared throughout her body in the space of a year. Liver, both lungs, adrenal gland. She was afraid. Though neither of us said it at the time, I knew it was bad.
Krista received the best possible care. But there just wasn’t time. Cancer is like that some times.
In the meantime, her husband Brennan has said that in lieu of flowers, Krista asked that donations be made to Hope for Haiti (https://hopeforhaiti.com/
), a cause she cared a great deal about.
As of yet, there is no memorial scheduled. That is likely to change.
The world is a dimmer place today for her passing. But my memories of Krista will shine like a bonfire for as long as I live.