January 8, 1995. My best friend put a gun to his head and died.
Almost twenty years later — it still hurts. There’s still a gaping hole in my heart.
I hate guns.
I fucking hate guns.
I’m sure that if he had died from cancer, I would hate it with the same passion.
That morning’s events are as vivid today as they were that January morning.
5:32 a.m. I’m awakened from a dream. The phone is ringing.
In my dream, my friend’s mother and sister are crying. They’re trying to tell me something but I can’t understand them.
It’s my mother. She’s crying.
What’s wrong Mom?
He…he…he killed himself.
To this day, late night and early morning phone calls scare the hell out of me.
I remember driving from Fayetteville to Marshall. Winding roads. Blinded from my tears. Numb.
To some extent, I still am.
I used to say that if my band ever toured, we would call it:
The “my best friend killed himself and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” tour.
Have I ever told you about my Grandfather?
Though I was too young to remember — he too killed himself. With a shotgun. That’s talent, I guess?
I remember when I heard about my uncle killing himself — carbon monoxide poisoning. Hey! That’s a new one!
Read that with the sarcasm intended. I think that’s how I’ve learned to deal with all of this throughout the years — a nice healthy dose of sarcasm.
I was recently going through a box of papers — songs — poems — the like. I also found a copy of my friend Rick’s suicide note.
At least he left us a note!
There goes the sarcasm again…
I feel guilty about Rick’s death. I’ve blocked it out mostly. Houston’s death left such a scar that I think with Rick…
Several things from Rick were in the box including a copy of a zine he put out himself.
Hindsight being 20/20…
Rick was hilarious. Told some of the best stories — like the one about eating a plate of spaghetti while his mom told him about his grandmother needing surgery to create a new…it’s too disgusting to finish here. Hilariously disgusting.
I remember the night I got a call about a shooting at the University of Central Arkansas. My head had just hit the pillow…about to drift off…
There’s that freaking phone again — ringing.
Campus shooting. Two students dead.
This was also the night I finally wrapped my head around the power of social media. Twitter gave me the names long before the university was allowed to release them. This lead me to Facebook profiles that by then had turned into live scrolling epitaphs.
Every single time since the UCA shooting — when I hear of other school shootings…
If you’ve ever been involved in such, you know…you know…
And if you’re like me, you immediately pull up the school’s website as well as it’s twitter feed.
I turn into a critic.
How long is it taking to get the message posted to the website?
How active is the social media stream?
I think this is probably my defense mechanism — and the sarcasm.
I hate them.
I fucking hate them.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my cousin — female — recovering addict — mother of two — who this year, took a gun and…