Saturday, at 2 a.m., a very dear friend of mine was killed in a tragic accident outside of Eugene. He was a fireman, EMT, Marine Corps Sergeant, father, brother, son, fiance, and avid lover of fun. He had more friends than the dalai lama. He was my boyfriend of over a year, and best friend for years after that. About a year ago, I became his supervisor. Our boundaries had to change, and being the responsible adults we are, we distanced ourselves far from each other. Almost too far now that I think about it.
When I found out Saturday at about 9:30, I skipped over denial as my initial reaction and went straight to shock. And stayed there until Saturday evening, when good food and great company pulled me out of that darkness for a few hours. Ever since then, I've felt comforted by my memories of him, but the reality of this is yet to come. For me and my staff, and a great majority of my friends, he is a huge, irreplaceable loss. And this is just the beginning.
In the meantime, I try to keep something of him within arm's reach. I found one today on my idiotphone in an episode of our favorite show from a couple of years ago. He had just introduced me to a fabulous cartoon on Nickelodeon called "Invader Zim." He had copied some episodes for me onto a disc and I hadn't yet gotten around to watching them until one night when he and I were on the phone with each other. I was getting ready for bed. At that time I was in this phase of lulling myself to sleep to the politely un-creative sounds of my laptop, so I had my computer there with me. He asked me if I had the disk. I said I did, and popped it in. We decided to watch the legendary episode called, "Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain." We spent almost 15 minutes trying to sync up the episode so it would start up at the same time on our computers without the sound confusing us while we talked. I love this episode to this day because GIR is just so fucking cute and completely ignores all of Zim's orders throughout the episode. But that night, I wasn't interested for some reason. At the end of the episode, I realized he was waking me up and I had snoozed throughout the entire thing. Ahhh, well. We moved on to "Germs."
I'm terrified of forgetting these old memories. I'm ashamed of the ones I know I've already lost...the jokes I can't remember how to tell...the animal noises he made that I know to not even try duplicating. My life would never be the way it is if not for him. There are so many things I would have, or would never have, done if I hadn't met him:
I never would have moved in with ex#5 (Turkey), who treated me so badly that I realized what an incredible person I am. And as a result, bought my house.
I never would have skydived. (Skydove-?)
I never would have quit smoking.
I never would have been to Crater Lake.
I never would have realized how much you miss someone when they are at war. You love them for their bravery and their willingness to fight for something they believe is right. Even when you believe the cause is wrong.
I never would have bought my car, Betty, and realized one can put just about as much trust in a good Japanese vehicle as she can in another human being.
I would most certainly have left Oregon.
I miss you, Gunny Boy. I miss the way you said "hi," and I miss that stupid smirk on your face whenever you would tell me a half-truth. I miss the way your butt was swallowed up in those medium-sized scrub pants that you wore only when the small-sized ones (which were too short) were unavailable. I miss the way you called me "little bunny," and every time I'd yell at you for it, you'd smile. I miss the way all my friends in Fall Creek fell for you. They all started out hating you for the past that you represented for me, but then they were all consumed by what you were.
I miss the way you took the words I'd say and make them into a game.
"That dude was such a crazy loon." I said one time, speaking like my grandmother.
"Isn't that the kind of boat with floaties on the sides?" You'd smirk, changing the topic of conversation.
"No. I think that's a pontoon."
"Oh. But, I thought that was one of those big wave-type-things."
"No. I think you mean a monsoon."
"Oh. Hmmm...I don't think so. That's supposed to be the monkey with the big red butt."
"Buddy, that's a baboon." On and on we'd go. Unfortunately, we both had vocabularies like underachieving kindergartners, so it didn't last for long. Poodle, I would give my dictionary, Wikipedia, and the Visual Thesaurus to be able to play that silly little ditty with you... just one last time.