“Such a copy”? God I sound like a fucking tool.
Anyway, if that sounds interesting, let me elaborate:
Me and Sam Rouse knew each other since primary school, I didn't think much of him then, he was just a chubby kid we used to beat at Four Square, but we started going out clubbing and taking drugs around the same time when we were 18 in 2009. We had a lot of fun, he was a drug dealer and I was a crooked bartender, we made way too much money and spent it all on getting high and drunk and having nothing else to show for our lives and it was fantastic.
Cut to early 2015 and was living in London, I'd been away from my hometown of Adelaide since 2012, chasing my dumb dreams and being lonely, but still thinking of Rouse every now and again. I still have the little woollen figurine he gave me when I left, the night we spent in his bedroom at his Dad's house, high on mushrooms with t-shirts wrapped around our heads to stop the fumes from getting in. We painted the wall of his room with spray cans, he made this huge purple and green heart, and I wrote the lyrics to the last verse of Empty Cans by The Streets over the top of it. He gave me that little figurine guy, I don't think it was supposed to mean anything, but I keep it in my pencil case next to my pens and nail-clippers.
In London I met a girl called Rosie, from Adelaide, she was going home in a couple months, and after those few months passed and Rosie and I had a lot of great times together, I told her about my friend Rouse, and how the book I'd just finished reading (Kasher in the Rye) reminds me of him so much. Rouse always seemed to have trouble with the concept that drugs are only meant to be fun. He took drugs seriously, and so inevitably the drugs took him. He was depressed for a long time, and would always talk about the darkness that he was trying to escape. I used to worry about him a lot, and had forever felt slightly guilty for leaving, even though I knew that's what I had to do.
So Rosie and I planned an adventure: she was going to go home to Adelaide with my copy of the book and show up at Rouse's house with a gift from me, his absent friend from the other side of the world – the gift of a conversation with someone that knew him recently. Better than a letter, it would be news FIRST HAND. If I couldn't come home like he'd asked whether I would for Christmas 2014, at least I could send an envoy. Then she could give him the book too, and for a bookmark, the Polaroid of me holding the little figurine we took when we were high in my room in London. I was very excited.
And then when she got back, we found out Rouse been caught dealing. Again. He was already on a suspended sentence for drug charges. So he went away for a long time.
None of our friends back home could give me a straight answer on how to contact him, and it just kind of went away, as my life kept moving, the way that life does... but this week I left a message on his wall, because I've still been thinking about him, and a friend of ours hit me up and told me she's been visiting him every couple of weeks for the year he's been away so far. I contacted Rosie, The Mission is back on. All that's holding us back now is that the friend, Olivia, says they won't let visitors give prisoners books, because of that Shawshank Redemption joke I made earlier. She suggested typing the book out word for word, but I thought it might be a better idea to just hit up the Author himself – he's a comedian so I bet he loves stories, and after reading his book, I'm sure he has an affinity with the down and out people, the ones who are lost. No one has been more lost that Rouse – maybe that's part of why people love him so much.
But look, this is a guy... I mean, Rouse was a true friend to me, in times when I needed a friend. When I told him I was going to my ex-girlfriend's 21st, even though I knew it was probably going to tear my dumb heart to shreds, he, rather than trying to persuade me not to go, lied and told me he wanted to come too. Because he knew I needed a wingman. And when I came back from South America in 2012, in the six months before I left Adelaide, after I'd cheated on my girlfriend and had no job and nothing, he let me clean his house for a RIDICULOUSLY GOOD HOURLY RATE under the pretence that he didn't want anyone outside the group coming into his HeadQuarters. He was there for me when I needed it, he gave me advice, and listened, and gave me his problems so I could listen too, so we could both lean on each other. And that's aside from all the ridiculously good times we had together. This is a real friend I'm talking about now. And he's in jail, and I'm letting him down by not talking to him, and I thought doing this might mean something.
If you think this is in any way a cool thing to do, please can you guys tweet at Moshe Kasher (@moshekasher) with the link to this blog entry, and hopefully he'll read this, and by touched by my beautiful words and the power of friendship and the sun will shine and everything will suddenly be okay again. That's all I ask, for everything ever to be okay, and nothing bad to ever happen. Is that too much? I DON'T FUCKING THINK SO.
No honestly though, tweet at him. Like, do it now. Don't read any more. Log on to twitter and tweet (@moshekasher) with the link to this blog post (http://bit.ly/1ZntG6a) and the hashtag #KasherBehindBars , and hopefully if enough people do, he'll read it.
Oh and Moshe, if this is you and you're reading, love the book, and your stand up is also fantastic. Email me on CraZhore@gmail.com (actual email) and let's talk turkey.