Text and photos by Rosalie Tirella
Missing my pal “Davey” Carlson … a Quinsigamond Village stalwart!❤ A walker of Greenwood, Carlstad and Kosta streets. A tall, handsome, raw-boned Swede, with deep, illustrious roots in the “Village.”
David, my ally, my cheer leader!💙 The Village’s one-man marketing marching band!🎵🎵 You were always so proud of the neighborhood’s mom and pop businesses – my small biz, too, and me! Talking me up to your family and friends! Just like the sales guy you were – for a Boston area seafood shipping company for many years! Buying an ICT ad now and then from this sales gal! Picking up my feisty little rag – and giving it to folks! Being happy for me. Smiling so beautifully whenever you saw me in the ‘hood or I visited you! Accepting and loving me for who I was. (I did the same for you!)
David you were great with my dogs! So loving! Always calling Jett “handsome boy” and willing to romp with silly Lilac! She was so excited when we drove to your house two days ago! I was dumbstruck – numb from the shock of reading about your tragic ending – bludgeoned and genitalia set on fire (I believe). You were a gay man, looking for love in all the wrong places…street people, poor young men desperate for money, knowing you came from money …seeing your beautiful big house…maybe trying to sell themselves to you, a guy lost in booze, drugs … addiction, self-loathing.
Like I was saying, my little Lilac girl was all tail-wagging elation when we drove to your place. She was expecting to see you! To have you come out to say Hi!, like the old days . She never cared if you were drunk or high! She just wanted you to get into my car, your tall frame bending all funny to fit inside and you always pushing back the passenger seat (WAY BACK) to accommodate your long legs, so we could drive to the country to frolic! To go with you and me on a jaunt – sometimes to the Swedish cemetery in Auburn! Like the old days! That’s what Lilac wanted!
Now YOU are sleeping in the Swedish cemetery, my dear ol’ pal! With your late, beloved Dad and your MUCH LOVED nephew, Nicky – gone as a teenager at the height of his beauty and potential! You could never let go of Nicky! Cried like a babe whenever you talked about him! Which was often! I’d say: Don’t cry, David! We all lose people we love! But we all have to adjust – go on!
I don’t ever think you really heard me!
Davey, we had us some adventures, you and me!! Like the time we were in your car, driving into Auburn. You were driving. Jett was in the back seat. I was worried …
I said: Dave we’re heading into Auburn. The Auburn cops are dangerous cowboys. Do you have all your i’s dotted and t’ s crossed?? (this was a nice way to ask: are you driving legally?)
David: Yep , Rose.
Two minutes later outside a credit union in Auburn, the Auburn Police is here and the two cops have you handcuffed back against the trunk of your car. You are yelling: I HAVE A HEART CONDITION! They don’t care. They have asked for MY driver’s license, too! I wasn’t even driving! I spit it outa my wallet, postage stamps flying out everywhere! Jett is going crazy, barking his head off at the male cops (Jett does not like most men – he was abused by them as a pup in Kentucky)! I am so afraid these rogue Auburn bastards are gonna shoot my Jett!!
24 hours later: Your wonderful sister has bailed you out of the Auburn police dept jail, picked up your car at my house…and you took your heart meds while in jail. You are OK. Told me, when we talked over the phone, that the Auburn police made sure you had your meds. They took a ton of $bail from your family, too, your great clan – the one that always had your back. The folks who detoxed you and worked with the hospitals, doctors, etc. Family who never judged but ALWAYS LOVED. Your mother put you in a fancy Cape Cod detox facility three times – at $15,000 a pop!! But you always walked off … walked off the premises and came back home, to the Village, to where everyone knew you – and took advantage of your sweet generosity. Like rats to a wedge of Brie. If you were detoxed in Worcester, you still fell off the wagon. Still connected to that dark side – no matter how hard you tried to disengage.
But you were such a great guy when you drank – and when you were elegant and sober, too! I loved hanging with you either way. Cuz I loved you. I loved having you at my infamous Rose dinner parties where we all sat around my beat-up dining room table and ate the excellent stuffed manicotti and salad (strawberry salad dressing because you knew I loved it ) you made for me, Ronny, Robert and our friends. We ate by candlelight and laughed until midnight!