I found out today that a friend passed away, he killed himself, which is even sadder than the normal death of a friend, and of course I feel like I should have done more to make him feel better.  But I have a complicated past with this guy, so I am not sure what more I could have done. I know that I have been really close to trying to kill myself before, I have taken bottles filled with pills and was made to drink charcoal in the Emergency Room, had my stomach pumped and I have spent many nights just staring at my scarily full medicine cabinet trying to gather up the courage to make myself fall asleep permanently, but I have chickened out every time, and one thing I learned from all that was, taking pills is not the way to go.  You have far too much time after you have swallowed them to think about what you have done.  I am not sure how my friend did it, but I am pretty sure I know how he was feeling and it’s hard to describe how helpless and lost you feel in that moment.  I had just gotten a message from him a few days before he died telling me how inspiring I am to him.  He told me he would tell me some day why that is, but now he will never get to tell me.

Our complicated past started when I was in college. My school was mostly girls, it had been a Catholic Girls School but had started letting boys in right before I got there.  My friend transferred into our college when I was a sophomore, and all the girls were weak-kneed over his looks: he looked almost exactly like the actor Montgomery Clift, he had a JFK Jr. shock of dark hair and hurt, searching brown eyes.  He was rumored to have a drug problem but I was only 19 and didn’t even know what drugs looked like, so I let him move into my one bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that I was illegally subletting. He lived in my living room, and would run the bath water every time he went into the bathroom which I thought was odd, and only realized years later it was to hide the sound of snorting drugs.  He had a beautiful girlfriend at the time who he met in Central Park, she didn’t need makeup, was about 18, and had long straight brown hair and huge round eyes. They looked like movie stars together, and I remember he used to put his hand in the back pocket of her jeans and I wished my boyfriend would do that with me but he was from Bayonne, New Jersey and that’s just not how a Bayonne boy walks around with his girl.