So I’m officially a New York State resident again. It’s kind of funny. I’ve always associated myself with being from NY and it will always be home. But this is the first time in my adult life that I’m actually living in NY. I went to college in Florida when I was still 17 and haven’t been back other than visits since. Go figure! Granted, I live in upstate NY now, but it still feels more home than my previous digs have. There’s just something about being close to mountains and having seasons and just the charm that is the greatest state that I can’t explain with words alone. It’s that feeling of truly being somewhere you love. You don’t need to DO anything to have that vibe. It’s sheer contentment sitting on your stoop or driving to nowhere and reveling in the beauty and magnificence of where you are. The feels are just there. It’s simple and wonderful tied up in a bow and BAM! Home.
I went home home (yes, Brooklyn) for Easter weekend. It was nice. I didn’t tell all that many people I was returning. It was pretty sad to go home and not have the Ice puppy there. Empty. 😦 There’s no words that can make that go away. Maybe time helps. I don’t know yet. The other day was the anniversary of my good friend who took his life. I’ve written about him before (re: Sandman) and I guess it is a true testament to time since it was the first year that I didn’t completely lose it thinking about everything. I still miss him. I still wish he was with us and nothing will change that he wasn’t here for long enough. But I think I’m finally accepting things and coming to peace with it. It’s a strange feeling. Part of me thinks that’s a betrayal of him – that somehow that makes me miss him less or not care. But the other part recognizes you can’t dwell on the what ifs or should haves. What’s done is done. There’s still an empty void that will probably never be filled.
But back from that tangent, home was otherwise nice. Had some meals at my favorite restaurants with family, got breakfast – I would call it brunch but apparently if you meet before 10AM the absolute earliest, you’re out of your mind and it’s definitely breakfast – with some high school friends (we’ve known each other for over a decade!!! How crazy is that?!??!!), and, of course, an amazing dinner for Easter at my aunt and uncle’s – with more family! Om nom. So much food and goodness! Anyway. Life is good.
I’ve been thinking about a really good friend of mine a lot lately. I’m not really sure what sparked me to think about him, but I know I’ve really missed him for a while now. And every time things seem to pile up between school and work and relationships, my mind wanders to him. Let’s call him John. John hung himself about ten months ago. We had lost touch, but we had been pretty close. I can easily count how many people I share almost everything with. John was one of those people. He was full of life and always found the brighter side of things. I was thrown into a situation with him where we were very much fish out of water. It’s amazing to see how much that can shape you and define you and bring people who have nothing in common together. John and I probably would have never been friends had it not been for that experience. I would’ve never known the loss of a friend to suicide. Or at least not yet.
I think I’ve finally gotten over the anger I had towards John for ending his life. Maybe not. A lot of days it’s easier to accept than others. Today – this week actually – not so much. He had everything going for him. Had a 3.8 in Mechanical Engineering. Had the nicest of parents. He loved people. He loved life. At least we thought he did. Granted, he didn’t have the greatest hands dealt to him, but I thought he had moved on from that. John and I had drifted a bit when I started my tour of the world with my internship in Germany and then when I was studying abroad in New Zealand. We would talk here and there, but it was never the same as before simply because neither of us wanted to have our heart to hearts over the internet. When I came back after my co-op in Houston, he had already dropped out of school and moved back home.
John had left school because he started drinking too much and then he got into drugs. When I was gone, our other mutual friends warned me that he was changing, and not for the better. Every time we did talk, he seemed fine to me. He was the same old John. I didn’t see the change. I think it was better that way, though: the rest of our group started resenting him. I’m sad to say that it was a month before I even knew John was no longer with us. We had texted on Easter and everything was good. It seemed fine at least. The night that he ended things was a normal night. He had dinner with his parents, things were fine. There were no fights, no problems. John just had enough.
I will always wonder if there’s something I could have done. I will always wish I could have stopped it. But most of all I will always miss him. I wish you were here, buddy. Life isn’t the same without you.