How to say goodbye.
This past weekend I had to say a fond farewell to an amazing friend. He is moving to Seattle Washington from La Crosse Wisconsin. I whole heartedly believe this is an excellent life decision for him, and a perfect way to create a healthy life for himself and eventually his son as well. However, being selfish on my part, I hate to see him leave. He really is the only person I can truly say, does not deserve to leave this way. Let me explain that last statement.
Let us call my friend "J".
I met J about 15 years ago at a night club in Minneapolis called Ground Zero. He was a bouncer/bar back, and my friend L.J. and I went to this club every Thursday. Before we knew his name we just referred to him as our 'Zerker" (as in berserker) and little did we know how fitting it was. This magnificent ginger of a man fights for his friends with a ferocity rarely seen now days. He also knew EVERYONE. I mean everyone. Any state, any country, there are (or were) people that called this man their friend, and they were damn lucky if they called him friend. He is a writer and lives a lusty life known to most writers. And shares generously, this lusty life of his, with all the people's he knows and even with some he does not know.
This man also saved my life, literally. Now there is no way on earth he could have known my plans, but he called me on the day I had planned to off myself and would not take no as an answer to his invitation of spending the day with him talking and hanging out for the day. I went. As I said I did not have a choice. We talked, we laughed, we (okay just me) cried. It was a good day. a cathartic day. And after that day, I could not feel so alone again, ever. Needless to say my suicidal plans disintegrated. Granted I am a cutter, that still happened, but I sold my gun, never thought of that place in the forest where I planned to shoot myself, and decided to enter the realm of the living once again.
And he did this for any soul, at any time. He remembers birthdays. He will join your game regardless of how small and silly it is. He will drive through state after state should you need a shoulder to cry on. He is one of the best men I have ever met, and I can not express how lucky am having met him.
A couple years ago, he divorced his first wife, and married his second. Many, nearly all, of his friends turned their back on him for doing this. Even though he was abused and more than unhappy with his first marriage... they believed he should stay with someone that was horrible to him, just because they had a son together. His second wife turned out to not be the caliber of person J was. After 7 months of married life, she left him for one of his closest and longest friends. Such a terrible betrayal by his second wife and his married friend. I am so proud of him and how he overcame that tremendous hurt.
These past few months, dramatic things seemed to rule his seemingly shattered life. Most of his old friend still actively trying to destroy any solace he may find, turning them into enemies that knew all to well where to cause the most damage.
I am sure dark thoughts were the ruling force of his day to day life, even though he did not share his thoughts during this time.
When he told me he was moving to Washington, I panicked. I don't know why. Probably me subconsciously being incredibly selfish and thinking that now instead of driving the 3 hours from Minneapolis to LA Crosse it would take so much longer to drive any time I wanted to see his face. My second thought was, ecstatic. He can shed all of his pain and sorrow and endeavor to create a new life with out all the setbacks plaguing his best attempts to do that very thing here. He can find new friends there. He can find better friends there. Friends that will not hold his past against him.
I love this man as my brother, literally. I feel love for him like I have for my blood siblings. I want his future to be as bright and bold as he is. I want his days to be legendary and his evenings to be epic. I want his life to be fair and just. I want a smile on his face and love to warm his heart. So this is the best thing for him.
It was not fair the way he left. So many people he happily sacrificed for and aided in desperate times were not there to see him off. There should have been leigon there to send him off, and even more to wish him well. But I was. B was. Matt was. Devon was. Group three was. And we are the people he had stayed here too long for.
We love you J. Now spread those phoenix wings of yours and soar. We are still here to cheer for you, waving our hands in the air like idiots desperate for you to look down and see us. Don't look back with sadness, just know there are people that want your company and will feel the loss if you. We still survive in this frozen wasteland and we still call you friend.
Missing your face all ready, brother. And your face is a good one to have.