Day by day I was coping more with the passing of my close friend Jay Poole but deep inside I knew it was an internal scar that would never fully heal. They say that time heals everything, but even now 20 years after the fact I can honestly tell you that old saying doesn't hold true.
Paul and I were continuing to plug away at his new sampler and it was both fun and very therapeutic. We had already came up with some pretty banging songs so far and it seemed that every new song we created was better than the previous.
I had eased up on the sauce quite a bit, but there was one good thing that came from my extensive alcohol binges. I had met a new love interest. Her name was Jenny and I had actually gone to high school with her. She was a girl I'd always admired from a far, but we were from two different worlds which I assumed was a recipe for disaster.
Five years after graduating I had seen her one night at a bar in Brampton while on one of my benders. When I got home that night (or early morning) I decided to look her up in the white pages and gave her a drunken call at 3am in the morning. Surprisingly she answered. The conversation was brief, but I informed her she had a secret admirer. I left it at that.
I seemed to continue on with these intoxicated phone calls every time I was inebriated. Her curiosity was growing more with each call, but her patience was wearing thin as well. Eventually I mustered up the courage to tell her who I was, which I assumed would mark the end of our late night phone conversations. Much to my surprise she was still very flattered now that the cat was out of the bag.
We made plans to meet up a few days later and the rest was history. I now had a new girlfriend. Valentine's was just around the corner, and since I was never a fan of the holiday I decided not to get her a gift. The relationship was also very new so I assumed it was too early for gifts. Needless to say I felt like a complete asshole when Jenny showed up at my place with an extensive gift basket full of my favourite candies and even a carton of John Players Special cigarettes, which I had started smoking after Jay passed away. JPS were now known as "Jay Poole Specials" in my world and I started smoking them to honour my fallen brother. Every time I looked at that pack my thoughts were with him.
It was quite obvious that I had landed a very thoughtful woman and I couldn't of been happier, especially after Tara turned her back on me in my darkest hours when I really needed a friend. Jen's generosities didn't stop there either, she was constantly doing nice things for me, picking up thoughtful gifts, and carting me around in her car to visit friends and partake in social activities & outings. I had even met her family, she had met mine, and it wasn't long before I was sitting down with hers for Sunday dinners.
I had fully emerged from my dark place now. Between making new music with Paul and having someone to love in my life, my internal light was shining very bright. 1996 had started off as the worst year of my life to date, but I planned on grabbing it by the horns, owning it, and making it one of the best...