I received the rather unsettling and depressing news this morning that my friend Mike took his life.
This news took over a week to get to our circle since Mike moved to Orlando a few months back - odd, you never think in this day and age - that news this grave wouldn't be just a quick call/email/IM away.
So what now?
My mind races...when was our last conversation - last month, right??
Did I make you laugh?
Did I make you smile?
Did I remind you that I loved you?
I remember your going away party - was it three months ago - a couple of weeks before this break-up consumed me. I was so happy for you - I thought the change would be good for you. You didn't want the going away party but it was so nice to see the people who showed up. You insisted on leaving immediately the next day - no Sunday BBQ - you were severing some ties - I could see that - funny how blind I still must have been though, uh? Well, not too funny.
You called Lucky and I after hearing we broke up. You were so geniunely upset by it - crap - did I even ask about you - the last time we spoke - did I even look beyond my own problems during the conversation. I always tried to treat you extra-special, with kid gloves, you always seemed to feel the odd man out : in our circle, at the gym, at the parties...how often would I find you alone in the corner, quiet, a gentle waning smile, those huge brown eyes, something about you seemed so fragile - a remember refering to you as a "sad puppy dog" one time - what a fucking ass I am.
Did I make you feel that way? I swear I thought I gave you love - I remember offering my friendship - a message I left you on your answering machine: "Ya know buddy - you could just come to the movies or the bar with me sometimes - you aren't just Noah's friend/boyfriend/ex-boyfriend?" - you were cute about it afterwards. At the gym - you just wanted to be part of it - so four of us would try and get through a routine, I doubt I even hid how much that drove me up the wall and added on to our work-out time. You were at a different end of the lifting spectrum. I tried to spot and encourage you - you always tried too hard - I just worried that you were gonna blow a muscle. Dammit - you stopped working out with us - felt you were slowing us down - did I make you feel that way Mike? Did I make you think it wasn't worth it to have a hug and a smile from you?
I remember your birthday party and double dates and circuit parties and tea dances - you always went home early. I remember the night I pulled up in my shiny new car - we had the windows down - it was a Spring night, Lucky across from me, you and Noah in the back - the four of us drove around, my first passengers in my shiny new car. I wish I could remember what the CD was that was playing - I thought it was Chicane - which ironically enough I bought for the Bryan Adams induced vocals on "Don't Give Up". Is that what happened buddy, you just gave up - sick of feeling sick, sick of feeling tired, were you sick of it all - were you sick of us ? You thanked me afterward for letting you be the first passenger - you hugged me and you told me how much I deserved this and my new found success, you said you knew how hard I had worked - at first I thought you were just in a k-hole, but you really meant it. I remember dropping you guys off and then driving off with Lucky - the love of my life by my side and those words - your words still echoing in my ears as I got home.
My God - did the world turn upside down since that sweet, warm Spring night?
You fucker. You absolute fucker.
I can't say goodbye. I can't say don't do it. I can't ask to help. I can't offer to hug you and tell you to hold on. There were more chapters in the book - there was so much more to read, there even blank pages - pages we could have all written on together: about parties, and barbeques, and boys, and movies, and jokes, and friends...but now they'll just go blank.
You took that chance away from us all.
I'll miss you.