Jun. 11th, 2014

gosling: (flower/snow)
This is a story about my college friend Tim, who died almost twenty years ago...

I was always a little in love with him, maybe more than a little for a while. At one point I wrote reams of perhaps mediocre poetry about him; those poems still probably exist in a box somewhere, if only I could find them.

What I remember most is him climbing trees and peering down from them, tall and almost impossibly thin with beautiful long blond hair I always had to restrain myself from touching. What I remember most is listening to him talk for hours, his quick brain, laced through with cynicism and the more than occasional brilliant insight.

What I remember most is the one time we spent a few hours in bed almost twenty-five years ago, the smell and feel of his skin, the softness of his hair under my fingers that couldn't stop touching it now that I finally had permission. It was achingly beautiful really, and he was, and even though in theory I literally can't remember faces, I remember vividly the feel of his eyes looking into mine. That memory is all emotion and the feel of our bodies together and watching his beautiful hands on me and running my hands across his body.

I was in grad school at the time; I had been visiting my college friends for the winter month between semesters. I had gone by Tim's room to visit one last time the evening before I had to drive back ten hours very early the next morning to just barely make the start of classes. I left his bed in the pre-dawn darkness, and the whole world seemed a little full of the feel of the sweetest parts of his energy. Everything seemed to glow before the sun was even up. I think my soul was more still with him than in that car the whole long drive back.

Tim was so divided (probably truly dissociative in a profound, compartmented way) and parts of him terrified him for good reason, parts he hated and feared. I think I only saw the dark haunted part for a moment. Other people saw it more profoundly; there was violence in him too, and a depth of self-loathing I never really saw in more than glimpses. His fiancee, who very very deeply loved him, finally left him because of that violence, and the pain that radiated from her over that decision, which she felt she had to make, was almost its own entity. (But that is her story to tell, not mine. I tell only Tim's and mine, because he is long beyond telling it.)

Tim died almost twenty years ago, literally drunk himself to death and was found dead days later. I hadn't seen him for several years. I was at his wake and funeral, and the grief that poured out of people there, grief and so much longing that someone, something could have pulled him out of the long slide into despair and destruction of the previous few years.

But what I remember of Tim most is his brilliance and his beauty and the few hours of joy we shared.

What is remembered lives.


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