“It was Billy and his sister, Mac-N-Cheese, and his girlfriend, Tree. They come in the Jimmy that goes Blub-blub-blub-blub-blub-blub…”
The memory is faded and worn from the years of use. Did I just giggle out loud? I hear that guy’s voice next to me and realize that if I did, he probably just thinks whatever he is saying amuses me. He gave his brother his Jimmy and his brother wrecked it. But the Jimmy I rode in… was it before or after that day on the street corner? It had to be after because that guy used the word, “girlfriend.”
I had never said it before or heard it in reference to me. There was never an official, recognized moment like, “Will you go out with me?”
He just came back and it was. We were all wandering around the neighborhood talking about things teenagers talk about. Everybody else had kept going, but us. We were standing on the street corner. I was fixated on his grey-blue eyes. Then he was pulling me close to him. Kissing me. It felt like you imagine it feels when you see the perfect couple kissing in a movie. It was better.
Six years later… waking from a nap (I didn’t feel well)… there’s a stranger with a scale, plastic bags, and a whole lot of marijuana sitting in my living room and I’m staring at a faint pink line. I find him in the parking lot drunk, stoned, and wrenching on one of our three Chevy Camaros.
Fast forward another nine years and I’m sitting at home alone on a Saturday night. I’m getting ready to type about drinking, drugs, stolen cars, and missing babies, but a Facebook message notification takes my attention. It’s his dad.
That’s when I see it.
Another friend has passed away. I worry he committed suicide. He has been unstable since he returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. Actually, unstable doesn’t describe it. War is a horrid thing. Many of the the first Marines who went to war came home with serious mental health issues. Come to think of it… the last time I saw him, I dragged him out of a bar fight and carried/dragged him from the car to his bed.
My life is full of stories – many complicated like this. In 2013, that changed.
But I have people. Some people are in various parts of other states. I don’t see them often enough. I don’t keep in touch the way I would like to. When one passes away… that’s when I realize how much I wish I kept these people close. But in reality… this is a horrible, no good, unimaginable thing to say and maybe even worse to type… in reality
I’m happy to be so far away. I feel like my life is more in order and has less drama without most of my people – my old friends – in my life.