ANOTHER STORY BY DON NOYES MORE HERE
By: Dr. Don Noyes-More Ph.D.
Every Lost Boy
Fifteen is a very difficult
time for most boys. All of a
sudden you’re a new person in life. You are a young
sculptor with clay, creating.
a mop top of black hair. He was slender, tall, and Italian.
Tony wandered. He never seemed to have just one home. Dinner
time was his favorite time to knock at the door. We would set a
dinner plate for him. He seemed to just belong.
Tony and I were friends. Yet I really can’t even
complete conversation with him, I’m sure we had them but that
was not part of how Tony communicated with people. He
communicated by placing himself in your life and you had to learn
the rules. His talking was done in short phrases always followed
by a shy smile. He had no problem showing up on a Friday night at
1 AM knocking at my bedroom window. I’d open the window and
help pull him through and the next thing would be “Well, here I
“Where have you been?” I’d ask.
“Around, thought I’d get stoned but no
money.” Tony was one
of only a few persons I knew that even spoke about drugs much
less took drugs. I never saw him actually do “it” but I saw him
pretty messed up at parties. He never danced or got loud he just
would sit there staring into space. It wasn’t an experience I wanted
to share with him. My friend Jeannie thought he was “way out.”
“Tony’s a stoner,” Jeannie would tell people. I suppose he was, but
it didn’t seem to enter much into our friendship. He kept it away
One day Tony was missing from school. That night I called
house, his Uncle Mario answered and said Tony was in a detention
home. “Tony got tossed into a detention home?” I thought to myself
in total disbelief! This was not the sort of thing that happened in
our community. I tried to pry answers as to why Tony got tossed
into what I thought of as jail.
Uncle Mario just kept saying, “What the hell good
Nice guy. I had no idea why Tony was there nor did
of ours. He was just there. Later Tony told me it was due to hitting
his dad. His dad called the police on him. Over the six months he
was in the home, I was the only one to write him. He wrote backwith, “I’m doing good, hope it’s going good with you. School here
stinks,” and things like that. He always signed his notes, “Love
you, Tony.” He thought of me as family but at the time I really
didn’t fully understand the feelings behind his words. To me he
was just, “Crazy Tony.” But he was special to me. Tony finally
returned home, returning to his large extended Italian family.
His grandparents and
other family members lived with his
family in a sprawling white, two story house. A family compound
of sorts. His grandpa had a putting green in the backyard and
could be seen there any day with a large cigar in mouth puffing
and putting away. His grandfather had a real way with English.
“Hey, fuckin’ shutta you mouth. I’m putting you bastard!” Tony
hated that putting green and sabotaged it twice that I knew of. His
dad beat him pretty badly once for putting a thin layer of petroleum
jelly over the surface of the putting green. Tony had a creative
One night after being
beat by his father, Tony came over to my
house. He was just standing below the window hitting it with his
hand. I pulled him up into the room. He had welts all over his back
and bruises on his arms. He sat on my couch, sitting with tears in
his eyes. “You’re my only friend, Donnie!” he said through tears.
He stayed the night sleeping curled up next to me.
A week later about 1
AM I heard a knocking on my window
and knew who it was – Tony. I pulled him through the window but
this time he had a duffel bag in hand.
I asked, pointing to the duffel bag?
“I’m cutting out and wanted to see if you’d come.”
“I don’t want to run away. How you gonna live?” I answered.
Tony said, “I have two hundred dollars on me, that’ll keep me until I get a job. I took it from my savings. I’m get’in
There was no reasoning with him. “Stay tonight. You can leave
tomorrow,” I said, thinking he would change his mind by morning.
Tomorrow would be better. We climbed into bed together and he
started crying hard. He rolled over and put his arm around me and his head on my shoulder. I said nothing. I understood.
He kissed me on the cheek. I brushed his hair from his face
and said, “It’s gonna be OK, honest.” We slept like that for the rest of the night.
The morning was overcast and chilly for Los Angeles. Tony got dressed. “I’ll send you a ticket to visit when I get a job.”
“Where you going?” I asked.
“I da’no, someplace, maybe Frisco or New York.” He walked over to me and hugged me. “I love you Donnie.”
He climbed out the
window and said: “See ya!” I watched as he lit a cigarette and walked
out the back yard, duffel bag over his shoulder.
Three months later I
got a postcard from New York City, “Having
a great time. Coming home to visit. See you then, Tony.”
I remember wondering
about what his parents must think of
all this. “Don’t they care? How could he be in New York?” This was
One Friday a few weeks
later I was home when the phone
rang. It was Tony. “I’m home. I’ll come by tonight.” I waited up late
– no Tony. Then about three in the morning I heard a stumbling
outside my window. I looked out. It was Tony taking a piss on the
side of the house. There he was, all smiles looking up at me. I held
my hand out and helped pull him up though the window like always.
From the look on his face and his odd speech I could tell that he
was really messed up. Once in my room he started rambling on
about New York and all these people he met there. I realized Tony
was very stoned. After a half hour of lurid stories about life in New
York City I put him into bed and we slept.
I woke up the next morning
with Tony’s head on my shoulder.
Once he woke, he was up with a shot. Tony thought it funny to
push me on the floor. A pillow fight ensued and bed covers, sheets,
and clothes were flying everywhere. My stepmom came in and yelled
at us to “Shut up!” We finally took a shower and got dressed. I was
ready for breakfast but Tony was moving on for the day.
ya stay for breakfast?”
see ya later,” he said. “Life’s a blast, really bitch’in!”
he said with a smile. “See ya later Donnie,” he said as he messed
my hair up again. He walked out the front door pulling on his
brown leather jacket. This was one of the few times he walked out
the front door. At the time it seemed odd.
I waited that night for
the sound of Tony outside the window.
It didn’t come. I finally fell asleep with the light on just in case he
showed up. I waited all the next day. It was going to be Tony’s
birthday in a day, and I wanted to be with him. Maybe we would go
party at the beach with friends. I called his parents house the next
night. There was no answer. I thought “God, he’s still out getting
laid and stoned.” I called the following day many times and finally
got his Uncle Mario. He told me that Tony had died from an overdose
of Seconal pills the night before. He died one day before his sixteenth
birthday. I didn’t go to the funeral. His friends were not invited. I
sat for days in my bedroom waiting for the sound of Tony at my
window, leaving the light on at night so he knew I was there, waiting.
I still have two of Tony’s
letters, postcards, and also a note he
stuck in the sill of my window one morning, “Donnie, came by with
Jim – you weren’t here, you going out tonight? Tony.” I read
letters, notes, and cards every few years.
“Can you help me remember how to
Make it somehow all worthwhile
How did I ever get so jaded
Life’s mystery seems so faded”
© Soul Asylum, Grave Dancers Union