Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Remembering a long-lost friend

I knew him for one brief season. He was messy, somewhat moody, often mysterious.

But I could not have had a more suitable roommate to begin my university life.

I was an angry kid who had left behind, with no regrets, an unfriendly town of mostly wealthy people who looked down on people like me.

I was so naïve about so many things. I was still such a child.

D. seemed so wise. Yet he seemed to think I was intelligent, too, and he drew out my intellect with many a long, fascinating conversation.

He wasn’t rich, either. He got a crummy job like I did, in one of the university’s cafeterias.

He laid on his messy bed and played his red electric guitar, which of course I thought was the coolest thing in the world.

He knew everything there was to know about the Beatles – but a whole lot about Bach, too.

Once, he invited me to a classical concert on campus and pointed out, to my amazement, that one of the players was slightly out of tune and would soon be adjusting their instrument.

We commiserated together about the juvenile idiots, the in-crowd that made noise all day and most of the night beyond the doorway of our dorm room.

Today, I heard “his” music again – Handel’s “Water Music” – which he always listened to in order to get to sleep.

He never slept well. He wore earmuffs, played a “white noise” machine, and sometimes just gave up and went out walking, long into the night.

I knew him so briefly. I heard from his parents later. He had vanished. To this day, no one knows exactly what happened. Drugs may have been involved – he’d been into heroin, I learned then, although I don’t know how often.
It is amazing how much of who I am is based on who he was, that young man so briefly known, so long ago.


...amarpreet said...

The complexity of our lives just amazes me, you never know who will serve what purpose in our lives and what we will do for another. It may be something said in passing by a complete stranger or you may know this person for awhile - either way, it's a blessing.

Bloggrrl said...

I moved back to that town of wealthy unfriendly people and I don't know why.

I'm sorry about your friend. Powerful story.

eastcoastdweller said...

I couldn't go back to that town even if I wanted to, which I don't. Couldn't pay the rent on a gas-station restroom there.

eastcoastdweller said...

Thanks for Your comments, Empress Amarpreet and Bloggrrl. Bloggrrl, welcome to my blog!

This is a place where You can always expect to receive the respect that You deserve! Please post freely and often.