We remember the dead by what they meant to us.
I didn't know him at all. But I used to see him on the bridge with his girlfriend. We would laugh in our little corner, wishing they'd get a room. But then they kept at it, and we just got used to having them around. He was another bridge fixture, like we were. Weaselly little boy, always on the look-out for a joint. And now he's dead of an OD.
Is it just me or does it happen to everyone that when you hear that a friend, or a relative, or just a distant uncle or that boy you knew existed, passed away, the first thought that comes to mind is, "Why did it have to be someone I know?"? Why did it have to be someone I can associate with a face and a body and a voice. And glimpses from the past. Maybe it's just me.
One mustn't speak ill of the dead. I haven't very nice things to say about him. In all honesty, I don't know when the news of his death stopped being about him and became about me. The news came to me in an offhand way. Some boy in my department had died, I was informed. And I remember thinking of this other girl, who, a few days back had written that she couldn't stop crying. And at that time I'd thought she was crying because she had maybe messed up a test. And I thought I'd message her and say something inane like "stay away from Derrida, he cashed in on his poor spelling skills", but then I thought better of it because she's another person I don't know but was used to seeing around. I know you read this blog occasionally, and I want to say I feel stupid now. Although you probably didn't have to know any of this. Hang in there.
In the midst of life we are in death.
It's amazing how you think your life is pretty unremarkable and you've got it all chalked out, and then suddenly someone dies of substance abuse. I used to do all that myself, because hippie trash seemed like an effective emotional outlet. It wasn't. Maybe I was lucky I began falling sick and knew I had to stop. Or maybe I grew up.
I hope his parents forgive him. Jackass. I hope he finds what he was looking for.