No One Loved Erasure More Than Scott Vails

AIDS Mural on the side of Seattle's Comet Tavern.

Photo I took of AIDS mural on the side of the Comet Tavern.

On 3/25/93, I was admiring an AIDS mural which was painted on the side of Seattle’s Comet Tavern.  I thought I was by myself, but I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard a voice say, “I know some women who have bodies like the ones in this painting.”  I turned to see a guy with his hand out, ready to shake mine.  I said, “You scared the shit out of me.  I am Mark, and I think I need to change my underwear.”  I released my hand from his and said, “I know of no woman who has a body like the ladies in this mural.  All of these girl’s bodies remind me of the caricatures from Dr. Seuss books.”  Scott let out this cackle which I had never heard before, from anyone, in my life.  It was a contagious laugh that was full of so much joy.  I thought to myself, as I giggled with him, “What I said was not that funny, but his laugh made it hilarious.”

Well, the next thing I knew, Scott and I were splitting a pitcher of beer at R Place.  One of the first things I told him was, “I am in a committed, monogamous relationship with a guy named Brian, and we have been together for 2 years.”  Scott’s reply was, “I am glad you have told me this.  Because, if I had found out any later into our getting to know each other, I would’ve ended up hating you.”

What I love most about R Place is all of the windows.  No matter where one sits in the bar, all of the cute guys can be seen walking up and down Pine Street.

What I love most about R Place is all of the windows. No matter where one sits in the bar, all of the cute guys can be seen walking up and down Pine Street.

At some point, Scott got up to use the men’s room.  When he returned, we kept talking about this and that.  In a short period of time, I learned that computer graphic design was his passion.  I realized that we both liked Star Trek:  The Next Generation.  I found out that he grew up in Spokane, and was the youngest child (just like I was the youngest).   Then it dawned on me;  at least six Erasure songs had played, back-to-back.  I glanced over at Scott, and he’s practically dancing in his seat to the Synthpop that is blaring from the jukebox.  I said, “I am going to go out on a limb here, and guess that you put in several dollar’s worth of Erasure tunes into the jukebox?  You MUST REALLY like Erasure.”  And Scott replied, “How did you know!?”

Over our 20 year friendship, Scott has managed to find the most appropriate Erasure song for any given situation one might find themselves in.  And never was it truer than the night when I shared the harrowing experience of coming out to my father.  I told Scott (and no other living soul, at that point in my life; not even my long-term boyfriend), “that my father held a shotgun to my head, and that he had given me 15 minutes to pack up my stuff and leave.”  What does Scott do?  He searches through his archives and comes up with the Erasure song, “Hideaway.”  Scott was just a gem of a guy with so many endearing qualities.

It’s just so hard to believe that he passed away on 11/1/13 from a heart attack.  I learned about it from Facebook (of all places).  I truly thought we were going to be living in a gay nursing home together.  That’s what we always said we’d be doing.  Too bad it will never happen.  Love you, Scott.  Rest easy, buddy.

Scott's favorite holiday was Halloween.  I take comfort that God allowed him to enjoy one more before he passed away on November 1st.

Scott’s favorite holiday was Halloween.  I take comfort in knowing that God allowed him to enjoy one more Halloween before he passed away on November 1st.

Memorial Service at 11 in the morning on November 30, 2013, at Fairmount Memorial Park.  *  5200 W Wellesley Ave  * Spokane, WA  *  99205  *  (509) 326-3800

Fairmount Memorial Park. * 5200 W Wellesley Ave * Spokane, WA * 99205 * (509) 326-3800

I am adding a little blurb to this blog entry;  because there is a memorial service (being held on Saturday, November 30th at 11 in the morning, at Fairmont Cemetery Chapel).  I wish I could be there, but I will not be able to attend it.  I’m hoping that a “remembrance gathering” will be planned in Seattle, at a future date.

Looks like a little bit of Winter has hit Spokane, as my buddy's memorial service was held. We're planning for an event to remember Scott during Seattle's 2014 Pride. Thanks to DJ & Steve for the beautiful photos.

Looks like a little bit of Winter has hit Spokane, as my buddy’s memorial service was held today on November 30th.  We’re planning for an event to remember Scott during Seattle’s 2014 Pride.  A heartfelt thanks to DJ & Steve for the beautiful photo.

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Filed under Art, Music, Obituary, Seattle, Washington

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