A Personal Perspective, Hopefully.

As I stated in my proposal entry, the original inspiration for this project was the untimely death of my friend Sam. I’ll never forget the night it happened. I had fallen asleep on my  couch, and I got a text from her phone number well after midnight. It was from her girlfriend, telling me what happened.

In a text message. I didn’t take it well.

After she assured me that this was not, in fact, some piss-poor attempt at a birthday joke (did I ever mention that? Yeah. Sam’s car accident was on my birthday), I called her. We’d never spoken on the phone before, but I knew she was crying before she said anything, and I knew that it was true.

Sam’s girlfriend, A (she wishes to remain anonymous) went through a lot with her. She went through her addiction, she went through her mood swings, she went through everything. With that in mind, I reasoned that she would be an excellent resource for this project, and asked if she’d agree to an interview on the grounds of anonymity.

She agreed.

Because she’s since moved out of the area, we decided the best way to conduct the interview would be via email. Though the medium does have its limitations (Postmodern Interviewing points out that email often allows no way to provide emphasis, and it is also dependent on the interviewee’s skill as a writer; as well, the interviewee may often provide too much or too little information, or provide an answer that has little to nothing to do with the question asked — see Chapter 5, “Internet Interviewing,” by Chris Mann and Fiona Stewart), it is by far the most convenient method for A. And because this is such a touchy subject, I wanted to make this as easy as possible for her.

A day ago, I sent the following list of questions to her:
1. Where and how did you meet Sam?
2. How long did you know her before she told you about her diagnosis?
3. Did Sam often talk about her time in Iraq? She briefly mentioned an incident to me regarding an informant being wrongly executed. Did she mention any other traumatic incidents to you?
4. Sam spent several stays in psychiatric facilities and rehab centers, and was a member of Narcotics Anonymous. How did these stays affect you? Did it help that these stays were voluntary?
5. When and how did you first discover that Sam was addicted to heroin?
6. You two shared an apartment for a bit. What was she like at home? How was her behavior? Was her sleeping restful, or did she have nightmares?
7. You were steadfast and loyal to the very end. Beyond just answering “love,” what made you stay? Sam was volatile and self-destructive; that couldn’t have been an easy choice.

We’ve talked a few times since Sam’s death, but nothing substantial. These are questions that I’ve wanted to ask for a long time, but never knew how. Now, A. assures me that I’ll have the answers in a day or two.

Besides helping me with my project, I’m hoping the answers will afford me a bit of understanding as to how I lost my friend so young and so quickly.

Advertisements

About Joseph F. Berenato

Joseph F. Berenato obtained a B.A. in English and spent four years as the entertainment editor of The Hammonton Gazette before returning to his roots at his family's blueberry farm in Hammonton, NJ. In 2014, Joe conceived, edited, and contributed to New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics. In addition to The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes, he co-edited two Star Wars volumes for Sequart with Rich Handley, with a third in the works. Joe wrote the introduction for IDW Publishing's Star Trek: Gold Key Archives Volume 3 as well as retrospective essays for that company’s Star Trek #50 and their forthcoming Gold Key 100-Page Spectacular. He also contributed to ATB Publishing's Star Trek anthology Outside In Boldly Goes. He holds a Master of Arts in Writing from Rowan University, and is adjunct professor with Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing, NJ, where he teaches freshman composition and serves as advisor for the school’s newspaper, the Atlantic Cape Review.
This entry was posted in Research and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Personal Perspective, Hopefully.

  1. Pingback: As I Hoped, A Personal Perspective | Joseph F. Berenato

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s