I’m home sick today.
Stomach and fever. Combined with a slow anger mingled with sadness. It makes for quite a miserable experience.
I have mentioned in the past, of my merry band of friends, the very small circle of us who survived the 90’s in Georgia. We were thicker than blood. Brothers from different mothers.
We fought. Often each other. We laughed. We cried. We mended broken hearts and saluted beginning and ending relationships.We drank, we sang. We played. We stared death in the face on mote than one occasion with our antics, and walked away feeling invincible.
In many ways we were a family unto ourselves. We were a peer group, but all in all I think a positive peer group. We never let others in our group drive drunk, we wanted us to be old and gray laughing at our antic together.
We were less responsible in other aspects, namely driving for which we took to the Georgia back roads like moonshiners from revenuers.
The epitome of wild eyed southern boys.
Now that circle grows smaller. This is my tribute, what little it is can not truly express the depth of our sorrow.
David (out of respect for his family I’ll leave his last name unsaid here) didn’t have what anyone could call an easy life. I don’t think any of us in the Circle ever could say that. Hell, I don’t think that anyone in Acworth in the 90’s could say that. Drama was a national past time for us in many ways and on more than one occasion it was said that Acworth was a ancient Indian word meaning “trailer park”, but I digress. David’s lot for certain was not easy.
His father died early, while we were still in school leaving his mother, a para pro at our High School and Grandmother to raise a teenage boy who was the size of a grown man. David was an easy 6 feet tall and several pounds heavier than the rest of us. We jokingly refereed to him as “Fat man and Little Dog” because he constantly carried a Chihuahua with him in his home, and the comparison was both striking and humorous enough that he even he laughed at it uproariously.
He played saxophone, and with a desire few could match. He played in my band for a time, and even played at the Acworth Pioneer Days when we performed there.
But David’s time, while happy with us, was falling apart behind the walls. Shortly after graduation his mother died, followed by his grandmother less than a month later. In 3 short months he was on his own, with no immediate family.
He did what a lot of folks have done when their back is to the wall and found a chemical supporter, instead of a friendly one.
We tried to help him. Did what we could. Cleaned his home. Stayed up with him late nights. It worked for a while. But he returned to them and many of us walked away. I must admit I was one who walked away, and its not the first time or person I have done so when drugs where involved.
A few years back he had hurt himself pretty bad and needed surgery. He resided with Calimus for several months in recovery.
He got David clean, got him to lose weight, and David left a better man. So we thought. We had high hopes. He got a job as a mechanic. Seemed stable. Spoke regularly and got involved in hobbies, even if they were eye brow raisers like paranormal investigations.
The years went by. He married, and had a child. We thought the future was bright, and that our old joke of being at a nursing home as a group terrorizing the staff would come true.
It was not to be.
Then his marriage fell apart for a variety of reasons. I hold no blame as I know little regarding it. But it was the start of his down hill slide. He lost his job and went back to school, but even after graduating technical school he couldn’t get a job. Georgia’s employment rate is one of the many reasons I have never returned for a permanent hiatus.
He hit bottom. How bad no one knew. He had spoken to Calimus via phone several times, and I had spoken to him via Facebook. We had given him our numbers and told him to call us if he ever needed. That was over the course of the last 6 months.
Tuesday he chose a different plan of action than calling us. For ten years we have been each others support, our motivation. For almost twenty years we have been family. On Tuesday we lost one of our brothers in a decision he consulted no one else and reached to no one else for.
Long in to the night we wrestled with our emotions. Phone calls, E-mails and Facebook messages. Sadness, Anger, frustration.
We know he was hurting. We know it was painful. We know he felt he had no other choice. He is succeeded in death by his former wife and child.
Emerson is often attributed to have written that to succeed means knowing that just one life on this earth breathed easier because you have lived.
I hope David knew that there were a lot of us who breathed easier for his friendship.