I have no words for his loss.

I have no words for his loss. To see the man I have grown to love in this condition is to see him as a child. A child who, when left alone at a grocery store, walks to the deli, buys a Coke and bad of Cheetos and sits at the counter to contemplate his next move. He looks around to see what he can see, his 9 years of life looking like 90 in his eyes. Is he sad? Can’t tell. Is he confused? Yeah, probably. Is he upset? No – he hasn’t been upset in years. In fact, he doesn’t know what it means to be upset. He would like to be upset. he would like to cry. He would like someone to cry to; a shoulder to cry on – a shoulder on which he could just lay his head.

He’s OK, though. He’s tough. Unfortunately, he will not be in about 5 years. By his 14th birthday, he will have already discovered and moved past alcohol, will have been smoking weed for 3 years, and will have taken his first meth hit two weeks earlier. His mother – she doesn’t know. How would she know? The last time she saw him was about 8 minutes before he bought a coke and a bag of Cheetos and sat at the counter in the deli at the grocery store.

At 19, he will have just completed his GED (barely). After 8 years of drug use and abuse, he finally decided he had enough. About 6 months ago he woke up in a motel room surrounded by strange looking people who were all dressed in black dresses, skirts, and slacks. Many of them wore white shirts and red jackets and he had abso-fucking-lutely no idea who any of them were. Just him and 10 strangers in a motel. He didn’t even know what day it way. If it was Monday, then fuck – he had an appointment at 10:00 that morning. He knew he blew it. He did not know how badly. It wasn’t Monday, it was Thursday. He got up, pulled his brown “Pearl Jam” t-shirt over his head, slipped on his camouflage flip-flops and got the hell out of Dodge.

He graduated from College at 24. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Contemporary Political Ideologies with an emphasis in Humanism Studies. Not bad for a slacker. See, not even the Dean thought this little shit who come in from nowhere would fail at his institution. That’s why they let him in. He submitted a handwritten essay and application three months before the school year was to begin. He had no money, and hardly a stable address. But he had a new found will to live. He had a drive to succeed. He had what some folks thought he needed. The Dean saw this. He overrode the admissions committee, and took this young man under his wing. Our friend, he is on his way.

On his 34th birthday, he walked up the stairs and approached the podium. He stuck out his hand and thanked the President for allowing him an opportunity to speak to his class. This was Harvard’s largest class of newly conferred Doctorate students.

“Drs.,” he said, “you know how hard it is to be strong when strength is necessary. The strength to challenge your peers, your colleagues, and yourself. The strength to move when movement seems impossible. The strength to see when the world seems dark. The strength to hear when the world seems silent. The strength to be true to who you are.”

I met him when he was 39. He was my freshman advisor . . . and he was hot.

**Your turn – take the last sentence and start your own short story/post, either on your blog or in these comments. You have been triple dog dared.**

~ by shinshige on 7 May 2008.

5 Responses to “I have no words for his loss.”

  1. http://lynnblossom.wordpress.com/

    It’s here. Bare bones and I’ll improve it as I go.

    So now shut up.

    Lynn Blossom

  2. :P You’re so snarky. I love it.

  3. Greeeeeeeeeeat story, loved it. But I already explained to Sideon I am hopeless..LOL Maybe when I get back I will give it ago!!

  4. oh mi gosh excellent. A story of loss, discovery, attitude, and hope. Excellent.

  5. Shaney – I know you are thousands of miles away (thus is the genius of the interwebs) but I dig you. Thanks.

    Cele – that means a lot to me. Thank you to you, as well. When writers compliment my writing, I really do take it to heart.

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