Monday, February 27, 2006

It’s a Shame About Ray

Meet Ray Izzard. One of the oddest guys I’ve ever had the chance to meet. David Letterman once said of Andy Kaufman: "Sometimes when you look Andy in the eyes, you get a feeling somebody else is driving." That’s how I felt about Ray.

I met Ray my sophomore year. He lived three or four units down from mine. I don’t remember how or when, but for some reason he gravitated toward me and my friends. Maybe we were the only ones that talked to him. Maybe we were the only ones that wouldn’t treat him like shit, and he took a lot of shit.

Ray made the one mistake a lot of the “odd” people do; he tried too hard. So desperate for friends he would often annoy and wear out his welcome with those that would actually befriend/tolerate him. People would give him a chance but then the really crazy Ray would grab the wheel. At first he’d just say inappropriate things around mixed company or over stay his welcome. He became the unwelcome tagalong we couldn’t shake. He’d start showing up out of nowhere like the killer in the slasher movies. At that point we began to distance ourselves from Ray. Hanging around with Ray, you got that feeling that at one point he would just snap. That’s how creepy it got. You waited for the moment when someone would finally press that button and Ray would go boom.

Besides the creepy habits and the need to draw attention by making an ass of himself I always thought that perhaps there was a little bit of “genius” buried under all the insecurity and self loathing. His sense of the absurd could’ve taken him places, could’ve been really funny. But it wasn’t absurd to Ray. It was just a desperate act for attention. Take his famed dance routine as an example. He often spoke of his high school cheerleading routine. He would hide in a bag and then while Europe’s Final Countdown plays he would slowly emerge from the bag in spandex. Absurd? Yes. Funny? Not when Ray did it.

Ray eventually left halfway through my junior year. At least I think he left. All I know is that he vanished. So, I raise my Pepsi to you Ray…where ever you are. I hope you’ve found peace with yourself. I hope you’ve become as funny as thought you could’ve been. I hope you stopped wearing your pants so high.


faith said...

I dated a guy like's even more creepy than friends.

I had a pretty shitty self image at the time, so I guess we suited each other...but only to bring each other down more.

Keymaster said...

seriously, the pants. Somebody should stop that guy.

Amy said...

Okay, I'm so jazzed you have a blog! Wahoo! Yes, there's a little Button - I mailed you an announcement/Christmas card, but it was returned :(. We miss you!!!

bobby said...

I used to have friends like this too. Part of it was an esteem problem I suppose, but mostly it was cause they were just so interesting. These people actually existed, and I was fascinated. Even back then, I could flash forward in my mind to when they were rich eccentrics, with canes and weird animals and, I imagined, a book deal. (I secretly wanted to be as weird as they were, but I didn't have the guts.)

Adam said...

Now there's someone I hadn't thought of in awhile. Sheesh.