I’ve wanted to write about you for awhile. I’ve wanted to write about you for 2 years 2 months & 15 days to be exact. That’s how long you’ve been gone & for as long as I have been wanting to write about you I just never found the right words to put on paper that would memorialize all that you meant to me. I tried, I mean I tried many, many times but the words just wouldn’t come. I used to sit in my room for hours wishing, hoping, waiting kind of like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting up for Santa Claus to appear & I waited & waited & waited & those damn words just wouldn’t come. They just wouldn’t. I’d draw a blank every time I would put the pen to paper. Then I realized that maybe I would never find the “right” words to say because how could I ever accurately describe the hole that has been permanently left in my heart. You were my little brother except, you weren’t. You were my cousin but our connection was so close that it didn’t even matter.
And I always think of you this time of year. I’m not sure if it’s because we just celebrated Thanksgiving or if it’s because your birthday just passed or if it’s both. But the truth is I think about you a lot. I remember you as a child, you were young, you were innocent, the pride & joy of your mom & dad because you were their only baby. You were happy, like, you were always really, really happy. Always laughing, always smiling. In fact, that’s what I remember most about you, your smile. It was infectious; it was so bright that you could light up the darkest room. But no amount of light could ever brighten up the darkness that resided in your head or the demons that took over your mind.
At first, it started off as just a small flicker but gradually, day after day, month after month, year after year, the older you got the darker it became and the voices, well, the voices became louder, the voices became clearer. You tried to get us to hear them but we just couldn’t. Yours were silent screams and they fell on deaf ears, so you were just left alone in your own world, in your own space in time, in your own hell because no one could ever understand you. We all had a ferocious kind of tunnel vision blind to what was staring us right in the face. We didn’t notice. We just didn’t notice. Looking at you but not seeing that you were sick. After all, You were always just our little baby boy dressed up in a white t-shirt and pampers; the same boy that used to wear his mother’s tacos in the house and walk back and forth, back and forth, back and forth just because you liked to hear the click clack sound that they made.
And your mom, I remember her too. I never told you this…but, I hate that bitch. She was the one that got you sick. She remarried and let another man take your place. You should have been the first man in her life but she left you, abandoned you, and then replaced you with newer, improved models, your younger brother and sister. Because you, you were broken. Cracked in all the wrong places and you could never be fixed. But she couldn’t return you and get her money back so instead she left you in a 2 bedroom project apartment alone to conquer your demons. But you didn’t conquer them because they grew bigger and stronger and no amount of Haldol could ever be prescribed because eventually they conquered you.
And everyday I ask myself, why couldn’t we see it? Why couldn’t we see it? WHY THE FUCK COULDN’T WE SEE IT? Why couldn’t we see it before it was too late? But your dad, your dad finally saw it. You were his best friend, his one and only soul mate and a piece of him died that day too. I look at him and no longer see the man that he used to be. He’s no longer living. I mean, he’s alive, he’s breathing & walking & his body is here but his soul is not; because for the last 2 years, 2 months, and 15 days he carries with him the unbearable lightness of existence and in him has drowned a young boy that has been replaced by an old man full of guilt and regret. And each day, he awakes to a world that no longer has meaning because his world ended on September 23, 2008.