Sunday, April 7, 2013

Learning To Waterski With Layne Staley

   The most unlikely person to go water skiing with, I know! I do not remember who else was with us that day, and believe me, I have tried. Just me and the boys on the lake for a cruise. I do remember it was a very warm, perfect summer day on Lake Washington.
 Before Andy died, I didn't have much time for watersports, and was just grateful to make it to the gym every day. A fitness addict at one time and an avid mountain biker, I was athletic, but I had never even been in a nice speed boat, come to think of it. So anyhow, we're there cruising up and down the lake, and Layne and I are talking about who knows what, just stoned and happy, all my brothers in the music scene would pretty much take turns Xana sitting after Andy died, so I guess it was his "shift" that day. I remember more times when Layne would just sit and be totally quiet than I do specific conversations with him, and as the sun started to set, he went into one of those quiet spells. Then all of a sudden he says, "I think I'll go for a ski." I was like, ha ha ha yeah right! 
Then, before I knew it, he was in the water, and zigging and zagging all over the lake like a pro!  It's one of the clearest memories I have of that entire year. I mean there's this skinny rocker guy, and he was just amazingly athletic and was totally at ease on the water, he wasn't goofing around in any way. He was doing it! 
Anyone who hung around with us back then may have had a similar experience, and we all would love to hear about it, so get writing everyone!  We'll come over and interview you if necessary!  I really can't wait to ask Nancy, "Where in the hell did he learn to ski like that?!" 
The next summer, I was living with my family in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and had the incredible good timing to be there when my uncle had just bought a nice boat. We went to Abique Lake almost daily that summer and I got to be pretty good -- man do I wish I had photos of that! I remember the first time I crashed and went flying across the water, I went under, came up, caught my breath, and that was about the happiest moment I had experienced since Andy had died, and I knew it would never get better than that. Maybe Layne knew the same thing: That summers like that, with good friends, who you can be yourself around, and be childlike and playful... It would just never get any better than that.
Thank you, Layne, for showing me how to live... also, my legs looked amazing that year!