I don’t know where it came from, but I was super sad this afternoon.
Maybe sad isn’t quite the right word; maybe more sorrowful. A deep sense of despondency and grief. You see, I was thinking of a friend of mine that passed away a couple of years ago, and for some reason it hit me with a sudden slamming realisation that he really is gone.
Let’s call him J. I’ve talked about him before. J was (is? I never know the correct tense) a family friend of ours, the son of the parentals’ friends who had a handful of kids around the age of the Wort trio. J was the same age as The Brother Michael, and I had a severe crush on the lad as I hit the 13-year mark.
(Can I clarify; crush on J, not on The Brother Michael).
One of my clearest memories was around when J would call most nights to talk to the aforementioned Brother. I would sort of loiter about the phone in the hope of getting a delicious four-second window to make banter. And by banter, I mean the following:
“Hello, Poppy speaking.”
“Hi Poppy, its J. Can I please speak to Michael?”
“Hi J. Sure, I’ll just get him for you. MIIIIICCCHHAAAAEEEEEELLLLL.”
One night however, J didn’t ask for The Brother straight away. Instead, he said to me, “I saw your joke in the TV Guide.”
I was MORTIFIED. Absolutely embarrassed beyond belief. You see, the TV Guide ran this kids corner section every issue, whereby they invited younglings to send in some funny quips in exchange for a little prize. The week in subject had a mini radio complete with headphones on offer (these were the days before IPods were big news, you see) so I sent in my witticism in gleeful hope of my own little contraption arriving (“Why did the doctor tip toe past the medicine cabinet? So not to wake the sleeping pills! Red radio please.”).
I sort of dithered my way through a response to J, and hurriedly passed the phone over to The Brother asap.
The next few years saw me trying to show him I was older than he may see me. (Two years younger was a lot upon me just hitting 13 and him being the more mature 15 years, 6 months). I remember absolutely fannying about in my pink Glassons hot pants in hope he may see me as my real age, and not just a little sister. (And believe me, these hot pants were beyond shorts to the point of undies). And even after years went by and we hit our 20s, I always maintained a soft spot for J and his melting big grin.
At his funeral, his mother said a phrase that has stuck with me ever since. (Again, I’ve written of this before). “J didn’t take his life; depression did.” Her saying that sentence enabled me to understand what had happened more in depth and to a greater degree than thinking of it in the sense that he had taken his own.
Often when I am saddened, it shows in the emotion of irritability rather than full on upsetness. You know, a bit rattled and irate, rather than woebegone and despairing. So when I finished work today, I found myself a bit ticked off and antsy.
Should I go to yoga? I questioned. The flirtation with making a’miss and heading home to The Pedaller was there. But I slung my mat over my shoulder and headed to the studio in a bid to qualm the unsettlement fluttering about within me. (It was actually me calling The Pedaller that did it; with a greeting of, “What?” I decided a hang up and ignore for an hour was the way to go. And what better place than in downward dog?).
Throughout the asana hour I felt that vexation dispel to a bit of downcastness. Then somewhat despondency. By the time savasana came, I was in full on throat-hurt melancholy and had tears dripping down my face (and snot, but they always pair, don’t they?).
I miss him.
By the end of his time, J and I hardly really were in each other’s lives. We’d talk every so often, see each other by circumstance on occasion, but we weren’t what you’d call close. But he was a special person in my life, and his passing on did effect me.
In Nepal I got a tattoo (one of the fair few) of the outline of Mt Everest. With the mountains being my happy place and where I feel most at peace, I wanted that illustrated on a non-shown part of me so it would always be in my presence. And in that little mountain picture I had a little bird tattooed in, the symbol of J and him also now being at peace and away from his hard place.
At J’s goodbye there were a few moments where technical glitches meant the slideshow wouldn’t play. The celebrant invited anyone who wanted to to say a few words to fill in the space, and I remember Mummy Deb meeting my eyes in a, “go on” manner. On account of a few others present, I felt a bit inappropriate to stand up and say some words. But now I really regret it – I wish I’d stood up and told the tale of the TV Guide.
I don’t know what caused the sorrow today. A couple of happenings lately have had me lose some hope in humans as a whole. All I know is that tonight the thought of J being gone hit me quite hard, more so than it did at the time of it all occurring.
That’s the thing with having emotions. Happiness comes along with dolefulness, up times combat with a bit of bad. If you didn’t have the bad or sad you wouldn’t recognise the good and glad, and vice versa.
I don’t even know what the point of this spiel is to say. Of if there is some sort of point to it at all.
All I know is that today I really miss that boy with the cheeky big smile.