I’m not one for special days really. I stopped making anything out of my birthday a few years ago. If someone wants to take me out then cool but I won’t initiate any kind of gathering. I guess it’s just another cultural thing I cut myself off from.
It’s not my birthday today but a friend’s. I feel awkward even writing about it on the day of but it popped in my head and I can’t stop thinking about it. Throw in some red wine and here I am.
I miss my friend and today is his birthday. He would have been 34 today but left this world at 31. I’ve known other people who have passed on at an early age but it doesn’t really ever hit you hard unless if it’s someone who was part of your life and someone you wanted to be in your life.
When I first heard the news I didn’t react the way I thought I would. I didn’t cry or anything. I was just like, “what the…” That was the last and only person out of my group of friends who I had any interest in talking, laughing and interacting with. We were both very juvenile for our age and had the same silly sense of humour. We enjoyed each others company when we were drunk and later found out it was just as enjoyable when we were sober. We even drove the same car. His sobriety is what really brought us together.
We had the same friends and we came to a point at the same time where we were forced to realize that if you didn’t have money or if you didn’t drink then you just might not have some friends. He was involved in a bad car accident that almost took his life which forced him to stay away from booze and work for a year. I came back from a big trip and was jobless which prevented me from doing things most people were doing. We had a good time eating $3 breakfasts, taking public transit to wherever, making stupid jokes and being totally juvenile.
There isn’t anyone in the world who can ever fill his shoes cause we also had history. We went to the same high school and hung out through our 20’s. We knew so many of the same people. We knew each other since we were 13 but our friendship really only started in our late 20’s. It sucks but that’s life. Death is part of life. Nothing lasts forever.
His passing was the catalyst for me changing the person that I was. When we lose the ones we love the most that’s when we start a new life. We were opposites in a way. He was a very forgiving and compassionate individual where I was more of a cynical and negative kind of guy. My cynicism was rubbing off on him though. Hey, the truth is the truth. I’ve become more like him though.
This is my message to him. I want to let you know I’m watching out for your family cause I know you would want someone to. You were their only support and now you’re gone. I can’t take your place but I can try to make it easier. It was only after you left I was able to see how people like to say they care but in actuality their actions don’t match their words. They go to a funeral, give some money and then you’re pretty much forgotten. That pretty much told me what would happen if I died today.
I often imagine us having conversations that never existed but seem so real. You would say this and I would say that and then we would both laugh. When I’m out somewhere with people I can’t help but think how it would be so much better if you were here instead. I can never say that out loud though cause it be so cold to the people around me.
Thanks for being there cause at least I know someone like you existed.