Nobody knew what to do after Diamond died. Our lives revolved around his band, whether they were recording or touring or breaking up. We followed their move to upstate New York, and lived next door when they were recording the second album. Each day was about what they might need: food, booze, clean clothes, the dog walked, other women, finding lost guitar picks or trips to the dealer. To let go of our tasks was unthinkable. We needed the craziness to be alive.
Diamond was born Damen LaTouche, but changed his first name to Diamond when he liked the way a former girlfriend from Australia pronounced it during sex. He was six-feet tall and a mass of curls orbited his head like planets. His body curved naturally inward, perfect for cradling an electric guitar. Diamond passed me one day, taking the house stairs two at a time. He glanced over his shoulder and said, “You have eyes like an iris.”
After that I studied everything about irises. Van Gogh, bulbs, and pupil anatomy.
Diamond died nine months later in a sterile hospital room — not in the squalor one would imagine a rock star might. We called it the clean cancer because we couldn’t see anything wrong with him except for his shrunken frame.
Kim Kolarich is a Pushcart Prize nominee, Her fiction was short and long-listed for The Fish International Short Story Prize,a finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition,and anthologized in The Bridport Prize. Her stories also have appeared in After Hours, Two Hawks Quarterly, The Third Coast, Karamu, Intrinsick (Editors’ Pick), Rollick Magazine, Crossways Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, and others.