17 May 2006
The End of Possibility
Yesterday I found out that a friend from high school died last weekend. I don't even know if friend is the right word, as we traveled in different circles that occasionally overlapped. Maybe 'friendly' would be a better term. Additionally, I hadn't had contact with this person since graduation nine years ago, so I didn't think that it would have too great of an impact on my life. It is sad and I feel for his family, but it didn't alter my plans or cause any deep brooding. Until today.
At about eleven o'clock this morning, my Yahoo LAUNCHcast started playing a UB40 song and the fact of my friend's death hit me hard. I flashed back to a junior high field trip. My friend had brought a Discman or something similar and some speakers to attach it to and we listened to UB40's cover of Fools Rush In while we joked and laughed and whiled away the long hours until we reached home. I believe this was also the trip in which he and a friend had purchased a rubber chicken and then accidentally lit it on fire. The best part was the chaperones having no idea what had happened despite the rising level of panic and rancid burning smell coming from our section of the bus. While these memories rushed through my mind, I fought back tears, not so much because I had lost someone in my life, because he hadn't been a part of my life in almost a decade. But rather because of the loss of possibility. I will never be able to reconnect with my friend. He will be absent at our ten-year high school reunion next year. There will be no reminiscing about starting rubber chickens on fire or any of the other crazy things that adolescents do to avoid boredom. There will be no excitement at discovering what the intervening years have held for us. Time had run out. I had been betting against time and it won. Like it always does.