I opened up Facebook yesterday on my phone as I was waiting for my husband on the street. A picture of my deceased friend’s sons appeared at the top of my News Feed.
My eyes welled up with tears, right there on the sidewalk.
I complain about Facebook. It’s useless, it’s spammy, it’s annoying. But despite all the crap and the noise, it manages to remind me of things I shouldn’t forget. It gives me the opportunity to follow, from afar, the life that my friend would have had.
I’m still not sure, however, if that’s beautiful or just plain heartbreaking.
His sons are adorable; they are growing, and I see his face in their eyes and smiles. My friend passed away last spring, and I think about him more often than I expected. I mentioned this to another friend in London, who was also close to him, and he said the same. It’s random, when I think of him. No trigger — photo or song, for instance — is needed, although both certainly will do the trick: like the picture of us on my fridge, or any track by Roni Size or on Dig Your Own Hole. Or something from Wyclef Jean’s The Carnival.
And recently, one day, BBC Radio 6 played this. This song has played in my head a few times over the years, when my mind has wandered and I’ve thought about how my friends and I used to dance every weekend, ’til the morning. But I’d never actually heard it play — released from the past, escaped from my mind — since college, when he and I listened to it late one night.
Mesdames et messieurs: le disc-jockey Sash est de retour.
I listened to it from start to finish, and it brought me down. A strange feeling it was, too, because whenever I watched my friend slink and break and bounce about in the middle of my bedroom while blasting trance from an overused, beat-up mixtape, it made me happy. He was so fun, so energetic, and so carefree. And trance, one of the types of music we bonded over — the swiftness of its beat, the way it soared so epically — made us feel invincible.
But hearing it again, knowing that we’re not invincible — that I’m no longer 20, and he is no longer here — was odd.
It’s as if the song died with him.
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I post very infrequently here — because of writer’s block, lack of time, and any other excuse I can give you. I’ll try to do better. I’ve carved a space for myself here yet have become so quiet. You might see changes, then, from shorter posts to more experimentation.