Six Years

The loss of your friendship is the greatest loss that I have suffered yet. Six years ago today, you died. Quietly. And, every year, right around this time, I’m overcome by an acute sense of loss. This year, it feels slightly different.

We went camping one year.
We went camping one year.

This year, I’m as old as you will ever be. Thirty years old. I want to think about how unfair life is, and about how much you would’ve done in the six years that have passed. It’s only the philosophical bend in me that wants this, however. It wouldn’t even bring me any pleasure to think about it.

The loss of your friendship left me completely intact. You didn’t break my heart, steal my money, or cross me in any way. I’d even wager that you didn’t want our friendship to end. You didn’t leave searching for a better, more compatible friendship. It just ended.

The conversations were just over. The closure was immediate and final. It’s not a wound I can reopen, brood over, or relish in. Completely out of character for you, nothing I could say was going to change the situation. The decision was immutable.

So, now, I’m as old as you were then. I’m planning for my future, with an unfaltering belief that I have one. A chance you never had. I’ve got all the worries that a guy in his early thirties would have, and then some. You had them, too. I’ve got the time, energy, and capacity to immerse myself in them, though.

But, I don’t have you to share them with. I can’t seek your advice.

I remember the time I stopped you from starting a fight, outside of a bar, by throwing you up against a wall. I think you punched me a few times, trying to get to the jackass that pissed you off. Never had I felt so strong (you were a fair bit bigger than I was), and I haven’t fought since. This incident, for some reason, seems to encapsulate our friendship.

I’d willingly take it in the gut for you, and from you, because you’d do the same for me. Justice was defined by the terms our unwavering friendship.

Today, I can’t help but think about what you might tell me if I told you about my life. I’m still kind of floating along, hoping that one or two of the decisions I’ve made will pan out in the end. I’ve got goals and dreams that I’m slowly working toward. I still make a lot of bad decisions, but I try to keep them mostly to myself. My life is pretty much the same as you would remember it.

Your life is only what I remember of it.

You know, today is the only day of the year that I pray, because I can’t seek redemption for this type of loss.

Anyway, there seems little point in going on, because it wouldn’t be moving on, except to say that today is also the only day of the year that I drink Trad, your preferred beer. I hope that you have a cold one waiting for you, but I’ll definitely be having a few for you.

Cheers, bud.

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