A friend of mine I haven't talked to since July called yesterday. We haven't talked in that long, for many reasons, most of which are unpleasant. But he called just the same. We chitchatted for a little bit, and then he said, I didn't call to chat, unfortunately. Although I am really well, I thought you should know a friend of ours has died. It came as quite a shock. This young man had just gotten into art school. I had heard that he was getting his life on track. That he was cleaning up. That he had decided what he wanted to do with his life, and he wasn't messing around anymore. He overdosed on herione. He wanted to do it just one last time.
And then this morning I got in the car and popped a tape into the player, and that Garth Brooks song came on. And, I had to pull over I was crying so hard. A year ago I made a definitive desicion to get my life in order and this, unfortunately meant not being around people who supported my bad habits. This young man, the one that died, I was going to call him after I graduated in two weeks just to catch up. I was so happy to hear that he'd gotten into art school and I wanted him to know that.
Recently, I've even been wondering where I'd be now if I'd decided to stop fooling around two years ago, what I'd be doing, where I would be going to graduate school, etc. Until this morning. For some reason, today it just made sense. I'm glad I didn't know, the way it all would end, the way it all would go. I am happy for every scar, every memory, every minute we spent out at the res smoking. I am so grateful for every shot of whisky we did. And, every time I hear that one Pixies song, I will always think of us, plastered and screaming lyrics at each other. If I've learned anything about the dance in the last twenty four hours, its this: The past is the past, its okay to remember it, but not okay to try to touch it.
What's just one last time, anyway?
Its a phone call never recieved. A conversation never had. Its everything. If I had known two years ago that today I would be sitting here crying, who's to say I would have done it the same? There are no guarantees in life, least of all guarantees on happiness. My only regret is taking a moment of the dance for granted.
My life is better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance.