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He hasn’t been sober for days. He still remembers her face, her laugh, her voice. He still remembers telling her he was okay to drive. It all happened so quickly then, he didn’t notice he was in the wrong lane. He woke up in the hospital, but when he asked to see her, he was lead to the morgue. I hear him talking to himself, talking of her in the present tense, like she’s still there with him. He used to be one of us, now we look down on him and if he’s some insect.

There is a mixture of pity and anger that race through me every time I hear his name. I may have lost my friend, but he lost everything. His friends, his fiancé, his job, most of his sanity. On one hand, you have to feel remorse for him, because inside his soul is burning through him. On the other hand, he chose to get behind the wheel. He wasn’t a heavy drinker before, now it seems that’s all he can do to numb the feeling of sorrow and longing that builds inside him.

Everyday, he sits on the bench. He seems lost, but he isn’t really, just forgotten. Our lives moved on while his is stuck in the same pitiful place. His music is the only beauty that is left in his life, for everything else has forsaken him. He sings, but no one stops to listen. The lyrics reflect the burden that accompanies such a great loss. We were the same, where did our paths separate so that I am where I have always been, and he’s at the bottom of a bottle of Dewar’s? What did I do differently? The answer is always the same, nothing. It could have been me. I was at that party, I drove home. I could have been on the bench singing about the good days.

This morning, I stopped to put some change into his case. I looked to his sign, scratched onto the bottom of a pizza box; “Don’t give up!” Then I looked to his eyes, and I saw the man who was once my friend. He was still that man, but something had changed in him. His eyes didn’t shine that familiar bright green. It was like he had a light inside of him that had turned off, like a part of his died with her. He looked up at me, and I smelt the booze on him, even at 9 am. But he looked at me, with instant recognition of who I was to him. “Thanks man” was all he said. I went back to living my life; he went back to reminiscing about his.





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