Thursday, February 09, 2006

Martin Gaitan

Yesterday, I was hanging out at Amelia's house, operating on the theory that a hearty bowl of chili and some beer might squash this budding sinus-headache-fever-scratchy-throat thing that had kept me home all day, holding some kind of can opener which the host assured me would be able to open the aforementioned bottle of beer (the kind of opener that has lots of little stubby bits hanging off of it, none quite large enough to pop a bottle cap), and feeling rather silly about not being able to figure out how to operate it (I have a degree in engineering, for crying out loud, and can usually think of a dozen McGuyver-esque ways of opening any given container of alcohol), when I suddenly realized how much I miss Martin, who knew how to do that trick with a lighter to open beer bottles (a useful skill, when lighters outnumber functional beer openers by orders of magnitude).

Martin died in a car accident last Sunday night, the kind of accident where no one knows exactly what happened because all that's left is a twisted heap of cars on the freeway. I hadn't seen much of Martin after he moved to Florida, but we were friends in college, where he would absolutely always open my beer for me whenever I needed it. (OK, so I'm the sort of engineer who tends towards soldering things together rather than taking things apart. Fine.) Neither of us much liked differential equations, but studied together sometimes because it's way more fun than studying with people who know everything (except for the obvious disadvantage that you don't have anyone to copy from). Martin was always the life of the party, too, and was always up for doing something unrelated to studying. He was a real standup guy. I guess I don't have much more to say than that.