When you are abroad, life at home keeps rolling. Today I got the news that one of my closest high school friends died yesterday. I wasn't aware that he had been quite ill for a few weeks and that he was due to have surgery for a birth defect. In the midst of a sweltering internet cafe, full-on traffic, and a hideous Skype connection, I realized that I'm still alive and he isn't. Life is moving forward here and at home.
My friend was a fixture of many Lincoln locations and he was always conversing with someone interesting. I liked him because he was intelligent, off the wall and most of all, honest. I'll never forget our antics in northeast Lincoln. Joining chess club, grilling, Chinese fire-drills, making UFOs, newspaper hats (that were later found by a Lincoln Journal Star writer), kite flying, and generally kooky things that nobody else did. He introduced me to better music like Ben Folds and Tori Amos. We went to a Ben Folds concert, just the two of us, and it was one of the best nights of my life—despite the laryngitis. With Ben Folds atop a piano and David at my side, it was perfection. He made me want to be my wacky self. He didn't put up with any bullshit.
I remember when he visited me at the pool a few years after high school, during my overnight shift. He complimented me on my newly attained grown-up demeanor and worldliness. We planned to get back in touch, but living in different cities and going our own ways made our conversations infrequent.
The last time I saw him was late October 2009 in the CoHo, one of the places where he was a fixture. I was there randomly after another event with several high school friends with whom I had also fell out of touch (pattern?). His rich baritone voice and irreverent comments were the same as ever, and I found myself missing the good old days in his Nissan with plans to commit minor felonies.
He was one in six billion (he'd correct me on that figure), and I know that he is missed. Even though our friendship faded towards the end, his impact on my life was unmistakable, and I won't soon forget him.
When you die, I hear you can still read blogs. Apparently the blogosphere and heaven have similar altitude. Anyway, I hope it's true. This one's for you, David. You're the bomb-diggity, and when I see our bus-home in the Pacific Northwest, I'll attach it to a hot air balloon and light it on fire in your honor.