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In love and memory

In love and memory of you, Chris, who were a friend and a comrade, you who literally taught me the meaning of that word. How it came from the Spanish camarada, the French camarade. From roommate, yes, but also how this was literal, from the real sharing of a space together, bound to the bonds formed by men who didn’t have security or wealth or private homes and so bedded down in the same small and rented rooms, who were friends and strangers, who fucked or didn’t. And this was at the heart of your brilliant queer history, starting not with a clearly defined erotics or identity but with that messy terrain of friendship and intimacy and class, inseparable from the spaces of capital and the attempts to make them our own. We organized and danced and argued together, and this was all part of our friendship, its care and work of trying to survive in the world we want to see upended.

When I saw you last, I had moved across the country and was back in California too briefly, and you drove me to the airport. Before I flew, we talked for hours over Indian by a highway entrance in San Jose, and I was struck anew by your impossible warmth, how it energized me and still does, and when we seize the bank and turn it into a dancehall, we’ll give it your name, Chris, our utopian, who this world couldn’t allow.

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