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Friend Files is a new feature I’ve added to Away With Words, this being just the sixth installment. I will be interviewing a friend of mine and showcasing why they are a friend to me and what I like about them, and also a mini-interview (five questions) that detail what they think of me. It’s a way to acknowledge my friends out there and what they’re up to and also introduce them to my larger group of friends, acquaintances, and anyone else who might be interested in reading.
Today, I will be talking about Lucas Damen. Before I get into what I think of him, here is my mini-interview with Lucas (exchanged over e-mail) where he jotted down just a few thoughts:
LUCAS DAMEN’S FRIEND FILE INTERVIEW
ME: Give me some details about your life.
LUCAS DAMEN: I was born in 1981 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I have been living (off/on) in the US since 1993 and currently live in Naples, ME with my wife, daughter, and 4 stupid pets (I love them all). I am currently employed as a CNC Mill Operator/Programmer at American Steel and Aluminum in South Portland. I basically program a fancy drill press to do all sorts of crazy shit to steel. This is my “American Dream” life lol. Wife, kid, good job. Stability. But in my off time, Music is what rules this life. I sing (SCREAM) for a progressive metal band out of Windham, called Destination: Void. This is my way of staying sane and blowing off steam. Survival.
ME: How exactly did we meet?
LUCAS DAMEN: Hilariously enough, even though we went to school together (I believe you were a year ahead of me?), I never really got to know you in school. It wasn’t until the appearance of facebook in both our lives that we actually connected on any sort of level. We have since, only once, met in the flesh but it was like I’ve known you for a long time.
ME: What is one good memory you have involving me?
LUCAS DAMEN: Ah, see previous answer ^^^ Meeting the mighty Joseph Carro (and Dorothy) in the flesh for the first time at Novare Res not too long ago. After having a purely on-line “friendship” with someone, finally meeting them in person is a unique experience. Having the feeling that you’ve known someone forever but are meeting them for the first time. You know?
ME: Why exactly are we still friends?
LUCAS DAMEN: HAHAHA! Are you asking yourself that or are you asking me? Well, if you’re asking me, it’s like I said before…even though I did know know you, reading some of your writing….the honest brutal shit, you know the stuff? With these seemingly simple words you have the ability show a complete stranger a very intimate part of your soul. A piece of yourself. And that kind of honesty and that kind of vulnerability is to be cherished and revered. So there. We are still friends because I admire you and I admire your art.
ME: Anything you want me to plug?
LUCAS DAMEN: Actually (even though I already dropped a cheap plug for my band earlier) Destination: Void will be playing a show at the Flask Lounge in Portland, ME on Jan.28th. 21+ but we encourage you and all your friends to come check it out and party down with us! Check out some audio/video/shit at THE DESTINATION: VOID FACEBOOK PAGE and the DESTINATION: VOID REVERBNATION PAGE. One Love!
I’ve said it before in other interviews and in general about online friendships – No matter what anyone else thinks, they can be and are real. I did attend school with Lucas back when we were both going to Lake Region High School in Bridgton, Maine. I didn’t speak with pretty much everyone back then due to personal problems, just moving to the area, and my social anxiety. Maine is really a small place, however – and Facebook eventually brought us together online through mutual friends and former school mates.
I think Lucas and I became friends through Facebook around 2012. We didn’t have a lot of conversation until around a year later, or close to it. I would wish him a happy birthday, and occasionally “like” a post he wrote about music, or guns, or something about his family. Then, I noticed he was doing the same thing to my own profile. Soon, we were sharing memes and our favorite songs back and forth. When I became involved with my own “band” with a couple guys at my work, Lucas would often cheer me on and talk to me about music although I was never really a musician. When I finally started to attend Stonecoast and I exhibited an interest in all things Civil War – he did something that solidified my feelings of friendship for him; He mailed to me three bullets used during the American Civil War, framed in glass – along with a small amount of writing. It was such a killer gesture. This guy had never actually hung out with me in person, but he often took the time to read my musings and became invested in what I had to say. To me, the gesture, more than the actual gift, was what really got to me (though those bullets are hella cool).
Recently, my girlfriend Dorothy and I met Lucas for beer at Novare Res here in Portland, Maine. Like he said, it was like meeting an old friend after a long time apart. He was easy to talk to, and we had some good laughs and discussion. There will definitely be more of that in the future.
Lucas has an extreme passion for his music, his family, his friends – and this is why I am glad to be friends with him.
And now, I will leave you with some photos (and one video) relevant to Lucas. Since he and I haven’t hung out much in person, and we forgot to do photos the one time we did hang out – these are photos I pulled that give a brief snapshot of things he’s interested in:
This is video of Lucas’ band – Destination: Void, performing at The Kave in Bucksport, Maine.
Graduated from Saint Joseph's College Of Maine with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts - Creative Writing as well as Stonecoast, a low-residency MFA program through University of Southern Maine. Has several screenplays, a novel, graphic novel and a memoir all in development.