Sunday, January 23, 2011


A lot of things can be incomplete, passes, roads, paintings, books, and people. The good thing about most of those incomplete things mentioned above is we generally know they are incomplete with just a glance. When the ball hits the ground the pass attempt is over, when you run out of asphalt the road is done, the last pages of a book are usually a surefire way to tell if a book is complete, if there is a big white patch on the canvas, then the painting is probably not finished. However, with people it is virtually impossible to tell if they are incomplete until it is too late to do anything about it. 

That was part of the problem with 'number 7' mentioned in the previous post. We all knew him, some of us better than others, and we thought we had a pretty good grasp on his personality. However, as we gathered for that brief, poignant ceremony we realized that we were working with incomplete information. And that is the problem the incompleteness of our information about each other, or anything in the world. We all think, or like to think, that our boon companion, the fellow we have shared so many drunken conversations with, is telling us the (whole) truth. We like to think that he is being as honest to us as we are to him.

After the few of us that were able to attend the farewell left the place it was being held, we went to the local we all used to share, and begin to dissect the tragedy. For that is all you can do, huddle together for 'warmth' or band together against the world, and try to sort out why it all ended in tears. These things do usually end in tears, and you know that (even if you refuse to believe it) on the front end. We sat there on our bar stools (his left empty out of respect), and pondered what it was that he wasn't telling us. We began to realize that he was telling some of us different parts of the truth, but no one of us was getting the whole truth. Perhaps each of us were getting the part of the story he thought we wanted to hear, or the part that he thought we could 'handle.'

He didn't leave some long winded note or ribbon covered diary for us to sort it out for ourselves, and when we drove to the airport to ship him back to the land of his fathers, we just didn't understand why it had to all go so horribly, horribly wrong. Maybe those loved ones that receive him at the other airport understood him better, and maybe one day they will share that understanding with those of us 'left behind'.  The ceremony awaiting him, and those wonderful people is bound to be much lengthier, more poignant, and more personal.

The battlefield of his mind remains an almost complete mystery to us, and I have yet to decided who is more to blame for that. Him, for not trusting at least one of us to throw him the life preserver he needed, or us for failing to realize he was drowning, not waving right in front of our very eyes. Truth to be told, there is probably enough blame to go around, but that certainly does not make any of us feel any better. As for blaming him, it just seems wrong in some fundamental way, but I still do it. I blame him, even if I realize how horrible of a person it makes me seem. I blame him because I can't shoulder all this blame myself, and blaming him is the only way I can cope.

I blame him because I am so fucking angry at him that I can barely see straight. I blame him for having the last word. I like to think that if I could just talk to him one more time, I would shake some fucking sense into him, and I wouldn't be having to type these words.  I am angry at him for taking the talent he possessed (and he had quite a bit of it), and pissing it away. Taking that talent for so many things, some of them quite useful, out of the world with him when he left.  Angry that of all the self centered sons of bitches I know (and I happen to be one of them as well) he chose the obvious way of expressing his self centered-ness. People tell me that 'anger is just a stage' and that I 'will get over it' well, these people obviously underestimate my ability to hold a grudge. 

I shall, till my dying day, remain angry at him, even as I eventually forget him, and if I am around long enough I will forget him. He will stop popping into my head on a daily basis eventually, and I will stop remembering all those drunken chats we had. The details, along with the pain will fade, and he will become another ghost that occupies a small cemetery like section of my mind. A place that I visit less, and less frequently because of the pressures of my day, or because of the pain it causes. A place that eventually I will occupy as well for someone else in my group. But, hopefully not for a good long while, because I think that his choice, while having its allure, was the coward's choice. And even though on many levels, I am a coward, I am not going to give into to that siren's song. I prefer to make the Gestapo like demons of my life fight inch by bloody inch for any ground they gain, and so I will abide. 

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