Today, with tears in my eyes I hiked as high as the mountain would take me to say goodbye to my dear friend Terry Goldman, whom we lost suddenly last week.
Terry and I were WeHo drinking buddies 20+ years ago, and we used to chat online when the “internet” meant dialing into chat rooms (I would never have remembered the name, but my geriatric friend Derek reminded me it was called Delos).
Terry was just one of those friends you wanted to have around — he was almost always smiling, laughing, or excited about something. He loved my dog Romeo, and his dogs Potter & Griffin used to love to tear the house up with Romeo.
I took an RSVP cruise to Mexico with my partner Sam, and friends Derek, Kris and Terry, and it was one of the best trips of my life. At one point Terry convinced me that wearing a glow-stick as a cock ring would be a great idea — so I spent the night partying in transparent white pants with a glowing neon “come and get it” crotch. (It made perfect sense at the time…)
But the high point was the hypnotist show, when Terry took to the stage and was unwittingly transformed into the performer he always wanted to be. Knowing Terry as well as we did, we all sat in the audience slack-jawed in disbelief at this over-the-top version of our friend. I tried to shoot video, but it was 15 years ago with a giant telephoto lens, and I was laughing so hard it was a struggle to keep the camera pointed anywhere near the stage. Incredibly, after leaving the stage neither Terry nor Sam had any recollection of what even happened (and seeing Sam “wake up” wearing no clothes in front of an auditorium full of people still makes me laugh). I had long ago lost the video in my computer archives, but this week I spent hours searching and sorting old computer files and unbelievably found it.
A few years after the cruise, Terry moved to NYC, but we kept in touch on social media and we always made a point to grab a meal together and catch up when I was in NY or he was in LA.
Terry and I shared a profound love of musical theater and when one us made some new discovery on YouTube, we always sent it to the other. His excitement about discovering new amazing performances was infectious and one of the things I loved most about him. Just last month Terry asked to send me my Jekyll & Hyde soundtrack because he couldn’t find his (of course I had 7 versions), and we then got sucked into an hour of trading YouTube links of fave new artists and performances.
When Kris called to break the news to me on Sept. 26, Terry had already gone into cardiac arrest and was in a coma, with zero brain activity. I lay awake that night till 4:30am, confident I could reach him with the power of my mind, and coax him back. I found myself pitching things to him I was positive he would not want to miss… the Sense8 finale, the iPhone X, Trump’s removal from office, the movie version of Wicked… As if he had just not thoroughly thought the whole idea through.
Sadly, it was not enough. Our sweet friend finally left us on Sept. 29th, and as an organ donor was even able to save some lives on the way out.
I can think of only one way to say goodbye to my dear friend Terry — with one of our favorite songs from two of our favorite singers. I’ll cry every time I hear this song now, but I’ll also remember the beauty of a friendship gone too soon.
Terry – this one’s for you: