The weirdest thing about an overdose is when I hear that someone has overdosed, I immediately assume they are dead. When I was spreading the news that you had overdosed to a few people I thought would care, the first question they all asked was "Did they revive him? Is he okay?" As if it is a normal and common thing to recover from an overdose. Maybe it is. I don't know. These are things that usually happen in spheres at least one removed from mine - to friends of friends. You will be my second friend to OD, and neither of you were super duper close to me, more than casual acquaintances sure, but not best friends. Not family. Two's not enough to make me an expert at these things.
Yesterday, the dryer broke. I remember when you helped me move into this place, I told you that your reward was you could come over and do laundry whenever you wanted, because you didn't have a washer or dryer. You seemed better than you had on other days, since the car accident, but then halfway through the day you nodded off in front of everyone, in the living room, your sandwich half eaten in front of you. You never came over to take advantage of the offer, and then you died and the same day the dryer broke, so that works out at least.
In retrospect, you acted just like a junkie. But I had never seen you actually do anything except smoke weed, so I don't think I ever solidified the belief that you were. Maybe you weren't. Maybe you aren't even really dead, and it's all some elaborate facebook joke, I'm always waiting for something like that to happen to me. I didn't know you well enough. It was just gossip, probably true gossip, but also not my business. Can someone die because someone else has too much faith or general respect for them to believe gossip?
It's weird to have flirted with a newly dead man. Like, my tongue was in your mouth one time, and now your tongue is laying quiet and still and thick and gross, a slab of inert cold meat. That's terrible to say, isn't it? But I think you're allowed to be angry with people who die from drugs, Emily Post says. So I can be gross if I want. I cooled on you really quickly, so basically right now I'm super grateful I never had sex with you. Because it's weird to remember someone's physical presence who no longer exists. It does things to your head, it makes your heart feel painful and mortal. How much worse if that.
My heart breaks for the last girl in love with you.
I just now had to tell someone on the phone about this, and I had to listen the dead panic in their voice as they ask for confirmation, panic that was once, for a moment, alive and frantic, but has given up hope completely, and knows what's coming, and it hangs off the side of their voice like a broken limb. So you know, fuck you for that.
My first thought when I heard was that it seemed like this town requires a blood sacrifice every year. Because every year there's been at least one death, right in this week, the May 1st offering, and it's always these younger men who grew up here, and led sort of unhappy townie lives. I mean, you were pretty miserable. You went through a lot of dark shit. You were aimless and without intention. But you just kept wagging your tail, waiting for someone to come along to love you and save you, you were very puppy at the pound in that way. You were very lovable in that way. But people can't love you back when you hate yourself. Something about the eye contact.
This town is Lady Bathory, bathing in the blood in the misery and stagnation of its native sons, virgins to other worlds. It pulls them down into the swamps, to digest them alive. This town has figured out how to sell the souls of its people to keep the gilded foreign lilies young forever. And they wander drunk through the weekday downtown nights, in between the cracks of the buildings, through DUIs and bike accidents, slowly decomposing as the PBRs and kitchen line jobs eat at their stomach linings, as the golden beach people get drunk themselves off their life-forces.
You ate a lot of candy bars, I remember that. That's a junkie thing too, isn't it? I feel like it might be. But maybe you weren't a junkie at all, maybe this was just an unlucky accident. I make too many assumptions. Probably no one will ever tell me. Maybe no one knows. You figure there's always someone that knows, but sometimes people are like cats stowing themselves away in secret spots when they're hurt and weak. I don't know how alone you really were, how private or not. Men have secrets, even the hapless ones.
When someone dies, I remind myself that they could have easily just moved across country and I might never have talked to them again anyway. People disappear all the time into different corners of the world. So death isn't different from just losing touch with someone. If I just decide to think you've moved away forever, then it's exactly the same. It seems a little egocentric with a good dose of delusion. But I think that was part of why you liked me.
I will miss seeing you, you were a very nice boy.