almost twenty years ago, i lost my friend mike. i should really say “we lost” because it is incredible the amount of people this man, boy really, not even old enough to be called a man, had such a profound effect on. to this day, people still think about him every day and i know this because there is a facebook group dedicated to his memory. the page has not only helped him live on, but has brought all these people together for support and love and a whole lot of laughing.
today is a hard day for me, but much harder on other members of of my family whom i love and care about dearly. but instead of continuing to be a drama queen on facebook, i thought i’d bring it over here in more of a creative non fiction way. as that is one of the reasons why i created this blog in the first place–for me writing is a release (thank you for the much needed reminder, geo).
an aunt i am very close to is lying in a hospital right now and things do not look good at all. by that, i mean i am really just waiting for the final word. not that i don’t have hope that the call will come and say that there’s been a change and things will be fine. maybe that call will come. i have to believe it will for everyone’s sake, mostly my mom’s.
but whenever someone i love is at this stage of their life, i always think about mike. and i ask him to greet the person and help them get where they need to be. so today i have been talking to mike a lot and it reminded me of a poem, i guess you could call it, that i wrote for him years ago.
i am not sure it was all coincidence that he visited me in a dream the other night. he was bouncing around smiling like always. in my dream i knew he wasn’t really there, partly because he kept fading out and fading in with different outfits, one of which was this plastic st. patty’s day hat, another of which a purple derby helmet. but for whatever reason he was there and in whatever outfit, it all felt very comforting.
so in another attempt to bring all my work from associated content over here in a way that doesn’t seem totally random, i wanted to share this piece of writing. it seems very appropriate for today and whatever comes next.
I’ve been thinking about you.
Yeah, I do a lot. Not always, but sometimes.
So why now?
Well, I just got in touch with Jon. Can you believe it? After 12 years, I’m chatting with Jon. Well, e-mailing at least. Well, he hasn’t written since his first note, but I’m sure he’ll turn up. It’s been 12 years.
I know it. He’s done well for himself, no? I’ve been watching him.
Yeah, apparently so. But I always knew he would. But I thought he was going to be a doctor.
Nah – he just couldn’t give up the music biz.
Yeah. And still around Pat too. I thought for sure Pat was with you. You know, when I have had to take care of my pets, I always tell them that you’ll take care of them. I imagine you being chased around by my dog Astra.
Is that the shepherd who keeps running after me and biting my butt?
Is she? I knew she’d make me proud! You know, Mike, I must have been there. I must have been at NYU studying or something and didn’t even know.
No, why would you?
I mean, it was a day like any other for me.
And it started out as such for me.
You know, I only remember some things about you.
Yeah – what?
Um – you screwed me out of my Jr. prom. Your hair. Some sweater. Not the color or anything, more the texture. Your house. The day you carried me to my car cause I was too drunk to walk myself. Oh my god. I drove home that night. I work with a girl now who went to school with you. She said you were nice.
I was nice.
Yeah, but you were a jackass too. I was so mad at you. I think I even said that I wished you were dead…
Those were just words.
Mike, I tried to hurt you the second time around.
I wished bad things for you.
Not really, you were just hurt.
I have never wished bad things for anyone since.
I know, I’ve kept an eye on you.
Have you? Have you heard me talking to you?
Yeah, especially in your car. Why do you always talk to me in your car? I don’t think I ever even drove with you. By the way, let’s talk about your singing…
I don’t know. I think a lot in my car. I should probably pay more attention to the road.
Yes – that wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Sometimes when I’m scared, I talk to you.
I feel closer to you than I think we really were.
I’m glad you think of me.
Know what I remember?
My graduation night. Todd’s apartment. You came in just as “It’s the end of the world as we know it” came on. You bounced all over the room, singing every single word. Then you left.
I remember that. I love that song.
I can’t hear it without thinking of you.
It’s a good song to be associated with. That Michael Stipe is a-okay. Must be the name.
Oh, Mike, I’m so so sorry.
About what? You have nothing to be sorry for.
About everything. What I did. What I thought…what happened.
Don’t be sorry, G-, it’s all good. But I have to go now.
Okay. So this time I’m going to say goodbye, Mike.
No-this time it’s not goodbye. Just keep thinking of me and talking to me. I’ll be watching over.