Saturday, November 28, 2015

Time Marches On...

Today is going to be another rambling post... I'm going to write without proof-reading...

Yesterday marks the one month anniversary since my best friend took his own life.  Time is marching on, and time seems a surreal way to mark the event.  It seems like yesterday that he did it, and it seems like an eternity since I've seen him.  Part of me feels like time should stop so that I can come to grips with things, but I know that's not possible, so another piece of me wishes that time would fast forward to the point where I've come to grips with what's happened.  But I also know that if time were to fast forward, I'd miss out on all kinds of good things that would happen along the way, so I mostly wish for time to stop while I process shit.

I know that my last several blog posts have focused on Greg's suicide.  I know it's depressing as shit.  I'm sorry for that.  For those of you who read my shit regularly... well, psyche... I don't write regularly any more, but you know what I mean... anyway, please know that I'm sad but not depressed.  I miss Greg, but I'm at least trying to enjoy life.  I think of him every day, but am to the point where I remember the good shit.

I've been going over to his house a lot... to make sure that his wife and kids are okay... and to feel close to him.  His wife and I share memories, and we tell a lot of jokes at his expense.  It's only fair... the fucker's not going to get the last word.  We both miss him terribly.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Small Measure of Comfort

It's been a bit over three weeks since my best friend did the unthinkable and took his own life.  Kind of hard to believe... it seems like forever since I saw him last.  For the most part, I've moved past the crushing, debilitating, profound grief that I experienced for the first week or two, but I still miss him terribly.  I'm beginning to return to life and have good experiences, but when I wake up, when I'm alone, and when I go to sleep, my thoughts invariably return to him.  Generally speaking, I feel hollow... empty... more than sad, but less than depressed.  Last night, though, I learned that things could be worse.

You see, I had a dream about my friend last night.  In this dream, I was in a hospital, sitting across the table from my friend, who was completely catatonic.  There was no expression on his face, no life in his eyes.  I spoke to him, trying desperately to get through to the man I knew was in there somewhere, but I was having no success.  I heard the doctor say "He's dead.  His mind is completely gone, but his body doesn't know it yet."

That's when my brain reminded me that my friend is indeed dead, and awakened me from the dream.  When I returned to consciousness, I immediately realized that things could be worse.  Yes, my friend took his own life.  But at least he succeeded.  It would have been far worse if things had dragged on, with his mind gone, but his body present.  This is a cold comfort, but it is, nonetheless, some measure of peace.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Attention MCHS Class of 1986

In approximately six months, we will mark the 30th anniversary of our graduation from MCHS, which means the time for another class reunion is quickly approaching.  I, for one, am looking forward to it, but it wasn't always this way.  I'd like to take a couple of minutes to explain why I skipped the early reunions, why I changed my mind, and throw out some ideas for making our 30th reunion a success.

Most of you know that I joined the Marine Corps right out of high school.  In the winter of 1990-1991, I ran into someone from my graduating class and asked her if we would be having a 5 year reunion.  Her response was something like "Well, some of us got together and talked about it.  We all kind of realized that none of us have our lives together, and we came to the conclusion that nobody else did either, so we decided to not have a 5 year reunion."  I was instantly pissed, and replied "Well, that's pretty fucking arrogant, don't you think?"  When it was time for our ten year reunion, that quote stuck with me, and I boycotted the reunion.  In essence, I took the comment of one classmate, applied it to my entire graduating class, and decided that I wanted nothing to do with any of them, with the exception of the few I kept close after high school.

When it was time for our 20th reunion, I had matured a bit and thought it would be fun to find out how my classmates had fared over time.  Unfortunately, I missed it.  I think I had a last-minute work conflict.  Over the next year or two after that, I started getting in touch with my classmates through Facebook.  Oddly enough, most of them reached out to me.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that most of them weren't the punk kids I knew as a teenager.  (I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that many of them were punk adults with attitudes quite similar to my own.)  I was happy to discover that most of us had grown up and moved past our petty high school selves.  I attended the 25th anniversary, had a great time, and connected with a few more classmates.

What I'm coming to, is that none of us are the same person we were in high school, and I suspect that a lot of our classmates didn't attend previous reunions because they erroneously assumed that it would be just like going back to MCHS.  If that's the case with you, I ask that you reconsider, and plan to attend our 30th reunion.  I'm not exactly sure when it will be, or what we'll do, but I can promise that, if it's anything like the 25th was, you will have fun.  You will see at least one person you didn't expect to see.  You'll experience at least one instance where you're surprised how much fun you had catching up with someone.  You'll be delighted to see how unlike high school it is.

To those organizing the event, (not sure who you are) I'd like to propose the following:

-Please don't hold the reunion over Memorial Day weekend, or the last week in July.  (Previous commitments would prevent me from attending.)

-Please send out as much notice as possible, so that our classmates can make vacation plans, travel plans, etc.

-I think another tour of the high school would be a blast!

-There is a bar in town owned by one of our own, and another bar in town owned by one of our relatives.  It would be really cool if we could hold an event at one of these places to show some love.

-If we do something upscale, please make sure to remind people that you need a head count, commitment and money well in advance.  Last time, the upscale plan fell through because people didn't commit and/or pay in a timely manner.

-Consider offering several alternatives and letting those who plan to attend help choose what we do.  This will help ensure maximum participation.

To those thinking about attending the event, I'd like to propose the following:
-Please speak up.  Let the organizers know if there's something specific you'd like to do, and/or if there's a specific time that's bad for you to attend.

-Please commit early and pay early if needed.  There were several people who said "I'm in," for one event last time, only to cancel at the last minute.  Some of these people stated money shortages.  We understand that life occurs, but with the advanced notice, people could have saved $0.50 per week and have been able to attend the big party.  Instead, organizers scrambled at the last second to come up with alternate activities.

To everyone:  We've reached the point in our lives where some of us are no longer around.  This is only going to get worse as we age.  Please don't let another reunion pass you by.  If you do so, you may miss your only chance to catch up with someone...