Remember when you were the only one to approach me on my first day of 2nd grade?
Remember when we went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark in the theater like, 7 or 8 times?
Remember when your parents got you all the best GI Joe stuff for Christmas?
Remember when Like A Virgin and Stray Cat Strut possessed you?
Remember when you were the closest thing to a sibling I ever knew?
Remember when we stole handfuls of Jolly Ranchers and Bazooka gum from the 7-Eleven and then played Gauntlet in the corner until all of our lunch money was finally dumped into that machine? Karate Champ and Tron also sat inside that store and they both gobbled up nearly all of our filthy lucre.
Remember when we actually had girlfriends in the 6th grade?
Remember when you had your dad’s little mustang then that badass black Honda Prelude then the Mitsubishi Eclipse, and then the Acura? Though my favorite was the 5.0, hands down.
Remember how you would drive like a damn maniac up and down Beaverton Hillsdale Highway?
Remember when we were the best of friends, bound by genealogy and our desire for pure escapism?
Remember when you were tailgating so bad that 2 different drivers turned around to flip you off in the same day? To your incredible disbelief, I might add. I wasn’t surprised in the least.
Remember when we used to watch X-Files every Sunday night?
Remember our laughter and frustration? How it would either bind us or break us? Burn us or make us?
Remember how you showed me how to inhale Camels behind the convenience store?
Remember how your basement was a den of debauchery and how your older brother would supply us but also torture us with his assholishness?
Remember getting older than teenagers and realizing the world wasn’t just some playground where we could just play through until recess was over?
Remember that one day when someone found your shoe stuck in the brush along the railing of the Vista Avenue Viaduct?
Remember that one day I got a call from my favorite little sister crying into the phone that you were dead?
Remember your wonderful family and life that was apparently staggeringly dark and lonely?
Remember that day when we all became staggeringly dark and lonely because you leapt into the nighttime skyline on your way home from work?
Remember the party I threw at my house for you because your parents didn’t recognize suicide as a reason to celebrate your beauty, laughter and significance?
Remember how confused, guilty and wrecked everyone was while trying to party and lie to ourselves that it was all going to be ok?
I remember it like it was today.
Because it was today.
But today we’ve all soldiered on in both your honor and our regret. We’ve all gotten on with our business while you still linger in our heads, still floating above Jefferson Street and permeating our dreams the day before Valentine’s Day.