a year ago today you sat down, put a gun in your mouth, and chose to stop breathing. it made you the third friend in two years. it made me, trapped on the other side of the country, having not seen you since high school, sit down and sob on the floor of my apartment. just two days earlier i’d been staring at the blotches on my jeans, because it had been so long that i’d forgotten how to scrub blood out of cloth.
i was not well, that month. september days still blaze hot in california, make sweat trickle across the valley of your skin, make you feel like there’s fire licking through your veins. i’m not sure i’ve ever actually been well.
i miss you in ways that i would not miss you were you still alive; you would be a boy i knew, i cared for, but a boy that had faded with time until the pixelated lines of your facebook picture were the clearest image i had. i have no right to miss you as much as i do.
they laid flowers on your grave and i laid flowers on my doorstep because even as i mourned you, i also mourned me. it’s selfish and perhaps a bit monstrous, but i am selfish and perhaps a bit monstrous.
you were born two days after me (though a few years apart) and we both, perhaps, blazed a bit too bright in our time, shared a penchant for self-destruction, and had very similar sunny smiles. i wish i’d known.
i see too much of you in me, or perhaps too much of me in you, and it makes the world spin uncomfortably beneath you. i see the grief, the broken hearts, but do not even stop thinking about the pull of the ocean, the way the waves would lap at my waist as i waded ever deeper.
the ocean is dark, dangerous, deep, and full of creatures with horrendously sharp teeth, but the creatures in you and me have teeth even sharper.
i miss you.