Today I found out a really good friend of mine from high school passed away. This of course hit me hard. What hit me harder was that he passed away in the summer of 2012. I didn’t even know he’d been sick, let alone gone for two years. We’d lost touch after high school, but he was a part of countless fond memories I have from the time.
I find it hard to believe we haven’t spoke since 2007. Even harder to believe we never will again. He was always someone I assumed I’d run into somewhere along the line. Some stupid fundraiser for our old school that we each would pretend we didn’t want to go to because we swore upon graduation that we’d never go back. We’d secretly want to, just for the ego boost we got from showing off what massive big shots we’d become outside of our tiny town. We’d say hello, catch up, reminisce over the absurd plaid suit he’d worn to a 007 themed party I’d hosted when I was 17. We’d both be married but neither of our significant others would be with us. We’d say it was because we love them too much to subject them to this place, but really it would be because we just wanted a couple hours to remind ourselves how far we’d come from plaid skirts and ties with short sleeve button downs. We’d drink, laugh, fall into the dry, scathing banter that had always been second nature to us, and our friendship would still be there, just as light and easy as when we were teenagers. We’d separate at some point to talk to others in attendance, but we’d be sure to find one another again and say goodbye before we went home to our families. We’d both issue enthusiastic promises to stay in touch, though the whole of the effort we’d put into it would be liking pictures of each other’s children on Facebook, until the next time an event coincided with a new need for an ego boost and the process would repeat. Its difficult to reconcile my previous assumptions with reality.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to write or why. My mind is fuzzy. It is confusing to grieve for someone you don’t believe you even have a right to miss anymore. We are not friends, we were. But its the past tense that surprisingly hurts.
Perhaps I just grieve for what a tremendous loss this was for the world. If anyone I’ve ever known in my life was going to fill the earth with never ending laughter, it was him. It is unspeakably sad that the majority of society will never be able to experience it or even realize what they’re missing out on.
I just checked my phone. His old cell phone number from high school is still in my address book, and it will stay there because I just count myself lucky that, for however a short amount of time, I got to be a part of the laughter.