Reunited and it feels so… good?

I am a terribly sentimental person. Maudlin, in fact. I admit to having a very self-indulgent attachment to most everything! I probably have movie stubs of every movie Michael and I ever went to since the day we met. I’m bad. I mean, really, really bad. Seriously. If there’s a popcorn kernel lodged at the bottom of my purse, I sit and wonder if it was from a movie that had significant meaning… Better hang on to it just in case, right?

Michael, on the other hand, was not sentimental. He was a very simple man in a lot of ways. He loved music, videogames, books, and movies but never felt the need to hoard the physical casings of any of it. Well, he did collect books… But, if a friend or family member showed the slightest interest in any of the above… Yours! He simply didn’t hang on to many material items. Don’t get me wrong. He saved certain mementos. In fact, just last month I found a restaurant napkin tucked into one of his shoe boxes that I wrote a love message to him on.

Ouch. Love hurts.

Strangely, he also held sentimental value on a pressure washer and an old tripod that his father gave him. (Some of you already know that Michael’s father, “Daddy-o,” suddenly passed away just one day before Michael received his cancer diagnosis.) The pressure washer was a gift from Daddy-o when we bought our first home. Michael used it maybe once? The tripod was very old. We’re talkin’ old-old. I thought, “We have two tripods here. One is very old. The other new.” Seemed simple which one to get rid of but since the old one belonged to Michael, I asked him out of respect whether we should bid farewell to the old rusty tripod. He told me Daddy-o gave him that tripod in his youth and he used it to create videos from his band days. Alas, we have two tripods. One old. One new. These were the only two things I can recall him asking me to hang on to when we were packing up to move out of our home last year while he was sick. (Oh, there were also two buckets of weird orphan wires and cables he refused to part with… don’t ask! I didn’t.)

Snakes? I hate snakes!

Anyhow, some time last year, Michael’s 20 Year High School Reunion was announced. Michael was invited to a “VVHS 1992 High School Reunion” group on Facebook. He silently poked around the group reading the announcements and statuses people posted. One thing Michael found interesting was the amount of alumni that had passed. We’re talking at least 10?  I don’t know. That might not seem like a lot to you but when you’re talking about people your age that you used to know… It just didn’t seem normal. Michael read the “In Memoriams” to me… various cancers, random illnesses, suicides, MURDER!? C’mon, the Class of ’92 are only in their late 30s! As he was reading them to me, we had one of those brief “Elephant in the Room” moments. Neither of us said a word about what Michael was personally battling. It didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to be one of “them.” But honestly, if Stage IV Cancer didn’t make you hyper-aware of your own impending mortality, seeing that list certainly made it clearer. Cancer or not, you have to come to terms that life is quite random and we are not guaranteed tomorrow no matter what your current health status is.

My dear husband mentioned the reunion to me again in early February and pondered whether he wanted to attend or not. The organizers had chosen Las Vegas as the reunion spot. I suppose they all thought it’d be more fun to meet in Sin City rather than the “humble small town” we grew up in. In any case, we talked about possibly attending. We both thought it would be fun to get away to Las Vegas and catch up with some old classmates. (Michael and I both attended the same High School, although he was a grade level higher than me and we were not in each other’s social groups.) However, at some point in late February, we stopped talking about it all together.

The Victor Valley High School Class of 1992 will be reuniting this weekend. I’m actually sad we can’t be there. Today, as I thought about Michael’s reunion, I couldn’t help but reflect upon the legacy Michael left behind. Yes, I know, Michael’s Loyal Readers, my sentimentality is one of the things that makes healing from the loss of my dear sweet Michael so incredibly difficult. But… I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bring on the pain, I say.  In fact, as the old adage goes – misery loves company… So, join me, won’t you? Let’s stroll down Michael’s legacy and reflect upon his endless talent and passion for writing (each image is a link):

Published Novels, Novellas, and Collections

Full Novel
1st Edition
(Lachesis Publishing; 2007)
Finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel

Full Novel
(Bad Moon Books; 2009)
Black Quill Award Winner – “Best Small Press Chill: Readers’ Choice”
Black Quill Award Winner- “Best Cover Art & Design: Editors’ Choice”
Black Quill Award Winner – “Best Cover Art & Design: Readers’ Choice”

Short Story Collection
(Bad Moon Books; 2010)
Bram Stoker Award Finalist – “Superior Achievement in a Collection”
Dark Quill Award Winner- “Best Dark Genre Fiction Collection: Readers’ Choice”

Novella
(Delirium Books; 2011)

Full Novel
(Morning Star Press; 2011)
Preliminary Ballot – Bram Stoker Novel list

Chapbook
(Burning Effigy Press; 2011)
Bram Stoker Finalist – “Superior Achievement in Long Fiction”

Full Novel
(DarkFuse Publications; 2012)

Full Novel
2nd Edition
(DarkFuse Publications; 2012)

Full Novel
(Bad Moon Books; TBA 2013)

Published Anthologies

Short Story: “Consumed”
Edited by R.J. Cavender
(Cutting Block Press; 2008)
Preliminary Bram Stoker Ballot – “Superior Achievement in Short Fiction”

Short Story: “There’s No Place in a Sleeping World for a Wakeful Man”
Edited by Shane Ryan Staley
(Delirium Books; 2011)

Poem: “Devolution”
Edited by Christopher Conlon
(Dark Scribe Press; 2011)

Butcher Knives & Body Counts: Essays on the Formula, Frights, and Fun of the Slasher Film

Essay on the Formula, Frights, & Fun of the Slasher Film: “Embracing the Chaos”
Edited by Vince A. Liaguno
(Dark Scribe Press; 2011)

Short Story: “The Sad, Not-So-Sad, Ballad of Goat-Head Jean,
Ambivalent Devil Queen”
Edited by Weldon Burge
(Smart Rhino Publications; 2012)

Reviews Galore!
(These aren’t all of Michael’s reviews…these are only links to the archives for two Horror-Entertainment websites that he frequently wrote reviews for.)

Horror Entertainment Website
Movie and Game Reviews
Edited by Greg Lamberson

Horror-Entertainment Website
Game Reviews
Edited by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares
This website was a finalist for the HWA‘s BRAM STOKER AWARD for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction (2010)

Screenplays

“Athena”
Original Feature Length Motion Picture
Currently in Production – Summer 2013
Written By: Michael Louis Calvillo
Directed By: Robert W. Filion

https://www.facebook.com/AthenaMovie

“Chekhov’s Children”
Short Film
2009
Written By: Michael Louis Calvillo
Directed By: Robert W. Filion

“The Promise Jar”
Short Film
2010
Written By: Michael Louis Calvillo, Robert W. Filion
Directed By: Robert W. Filion

“Dummy”
Short Film
2012
Written By: Michael Louis Calvillo
Directed By: Robert W. Filion

Gosh, this list doesn’t even include Michael’s cache of completed unpublished novels, novellas, screenplays, poems, etc. OR, the HUNDREDS of songs he wrote for the bands he was in… OR, all the raps he wrote for his students … OR, the raps he wrote just for fun… OR, all the beautiful love letters he wrote for me! (Sigh.)

And, yet… I still feel like I’m overlooking other things he wrote? (Am I? Probably.)

Well, in any case… I wanted to acknowlege all the amazing accomplishments Michael could’ve shared with his fellow alumni this weekend. Of course, if you knew Michael, he would have humbly kept all this to himself. His proud wife, on the other hand, would not have been able to keep herself from bragging!

Cheers, VVHS Class of 1992!

Michael Louis Calvillo
Victor Valley High School
Class of 1992

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4 Responses to “Reunited and it feels so… good?”

  1. Linda Calvillo Says:

    Michael was so blessed and lucky to have had the wonderful, with a capital W, wife! Also, what a gift he gave to us, his family, in bringing Michelle and Deja into our lives, especially my life, his mother. I am so proud beyond words of Michael and Michelle!

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