Last night I drove a friend back to his apartment, because he was still on campus and the buses weren’t going anymore.
Thanks for the ride, he said as he climbed out.
Any time! I’ll let you know how my immediate death goes after this Women and Gender Studies exam, and that sentence used to be normal, but he clammed up as he climbed out.
I’ve been pulling a lot of Cady Herons recently: lots and lots of word vomiting. For the most part I can deal with it because it’s just me not keeping my mouth shut in social situations (to which my solution is to stop being in social situations or stop talking)–but this is something else entirely.
I went to high school with this friend. Our graduating class was a total of 29 people. The class below us graduated with maybe 40. We all had known each other since we were eleven/twelve. In less roundabout terms, we were close. Not just our class, but our school in general. Very tight-knit.
On Monday, we found out that one of our own had died. He was eighteen. Had graduated a year below me. We all knew him, all had our memories, our jokes.
I thought this year could still be salvaged–because even though everything else had gone to shit, at least no one had died.
Then someone died.
No one in our graduating class–in fact, as far as I know, no one in either of our graduating classes–had experienced as much death as I have. Sure, some people have dead grandparents, or parents, maybe a sibling or cousin. But, usually, I take the cake. The world’s most depressing party trick, if you will.
One friend cried in my dorm room for an hour. Another friend texted me for three, repeating the same statements over and over: ‘I am sad.’; ‘This is not okay.’; ‘I can’t believe it.’; ‘He did not deserve this.’ All I do is offer my company, and my ear. I cannot pretend to feel the way they feel.
I am just here. Dealing with death in the only way I know how: remembering its inevitability and remembering that despite his short time alive, his years were spent loving and being loved in return.
I always gave him hugs. I distinctly remember always being happy to see him, and his smile always being present. I remember sitting in a group with him, discussing Prom party favors. I remember his voice. I feel nothing but love.
It doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of good on this earth right now.
At least there’s always love.