Happy Birthday, Richard

I’ve had only two really close male friends in my life. There was Spike, gone 10 years or more now. He was perhaps the most formative person in my life. Much of my attitude, my beliefs came from him. He came into my life at a crucial moment, a time when I didn’t know who or what I was or where I was going, a time when I was living a lie, believing what I thought I was suppose to believe while knowing in my heart something was wrong. He shattered that, forced me to look in the proverbial mirror and figure out for myself who I was and what I wanted to be.

Shit got real after that.

And then there was Richard. Richard and I clicked the moment we met. It was a different friendship to what I had with Spike. I might describe it as fast and furious. We got high, we partied, we did stupid shit. He lived in Chicago and if he was here in Detroit or I was there in Chicago we would be all but joined at the hip. Oh the stories I could tell.

It’s his birthday today. I wish I could call him, say hi, how’s it hanging, I might be in Chi-Town next week. I could just see us, a couple of old coots hitting the streets, tearing shit up. Granted it would have been a slow tearing up of shit what with painful joints and the need to pee every hour or so but still …

But I can’t. Richard, like Spike, has gone to blue. It’s been awhile but I still can’t wrap my head around it. I outlived them both. How the fuck did that happen?

Man but I miss him so I did what I do to deal with shit like that, I wrote a story. Maybe I wrote it for his kids as much as for me. I mean, it’s not like he’s going to read it, though I do think he’d get a kick out of it. It would surely pull up old memories of things we’ve done which would lead to forgotten memories of things we’ve done and by the time it was over I’d end up having to increase the word count dramatically.

The story itself is half truth, half fiction. Easy enough to figure out which is which.

The Last Time I Saw Richard

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