I was starting to really feel like a person again. I was. Then the world fell apart.
I came home Sunday and was surfing through my Facebook to see a couple of posts that had been posted to a friend’s timeline. The first was a picture posted of that friend holding his guitar back in the days when I first met him, it had a memorial typed across it. I brushed it off. His birthday was in a few days, today, and I figured it was his brother playing a joke. The second post was from the day before of a guitar flying-V guitar and a friend saying my friend needed to add it to my collection.
I continued my facebooking and I kept coming back to those posts. For two hours.
Then other posts starting popping up and I lost my shit.
Cesar and I met through our friend Adriana. They were in a band together after we all graduated from high school. Adriana and I from ours and Cesar from his in another part of town. I tagged along a lot as I was busy failing my way out of college and they were making their way in life. I moved a few years later but I kept in touch here and there. We posted on Facebook to each other. I muddled my way through life. They actually made something of theirs. They had ups and downs but leaned on each other.
Cesar married his sweetheart, they had a little girl. She just turned 11 last month. Adriana got to witness all that. They had similar fields in psychology, they continued to make music together through a few bands. Last I spoke to Adriana was a text on New Years of this year. Cesar and I had a facebook convo at some point in recent history about the two of them coming up here to do a show and maybe visit, I don’t even know when. Adriana hit me up last fall to let me know that they were thinking of my and my writing exploits. I wasn’t a good a friend as I could I have been but everyone goes their separate ways. Adriana had her birthday a couple of months ago, today is Cesar’s birthday and Saturday is mine. This is our 33rd year on this planet and we’ve known each other for 20 years (Adriana and I) and 14 years (Cesar and I).
After I realized the posts I saw were legitimate and my friend was gone, I started bawling. I was texting Laurel and my sisters but I didn’t know what happened. I texted Adriana and got no response. So, I scrolled back through the feeds. They were getting ready for a show on Saturday night. I see nothing about the show. I had no idea if they made it or not. I had no idea what had happened and no one answered their phones. I cried myself to sleep.
I go to work. I muddle through. I come home and I scour the internet. Then I see it. The ages are wrong but I KNOW. It was the middle of the day. Afternoon. A truck ran a red light and smashed into a little white car containing both of my friends. The driver, allegedly and reportedly, was drunk and tried to flee the scene. I read the article five times and I turn back to facebook where Cesar’s brother has relayed the tale and also a few of their childhood and I bawl myself to sleep.
Anger is what I felt all day yesterday. They’re holding a vigil tonight. I can’t get away. Today is my day off but I’m so far under my bills, I can’t spare tomorrow as a travel day back. I can’t go to be with Adriana in the hospital. I can’t go and do something for Cesar’s widow and his little girl. I can only sit here and cry and cry and cry.
I have moments where I do something else. At work, there is plenty for me to do, I only have moments where my mind wanders and I want to cry. I had a cigarette yesterday. Just one. I did it. I cried all the way home. I have anger fantasies about the woman who did this terrible thing. I’m not a hateful person. There’s a short list of course but it’s short. This woman made the list. I want to feel sorry for her. Her life is about to change abruptly. She faces several charges, one of which comes with a 20 year sentence. I don’t currently care. I don’t feel sorry for her. Aside from being a drunk driver, a wreckless driver, an accidental murderer… she is a thief. She stole him from us.
A son, brother, father, husband, friend, band-mate and counselor to many, many, many, many people who are in shock and mourning and who are filled with sadness and rage. They are all lighting candles and praying and ranting and crying and demanding to know why.
There is no answer that is enough. There is no anything that is enough. There are so many stages of grief and people will work through them on their own timelines. I’m going to be in this vacillation of anger and denial for a while. It’s how I do grief. Then it’ll be anger and bargaining and then depression laced with anger. Then depression. Acceptance is something that just… occurs at some point. It’s all very logical when you put it into terms that can be expressed logically.
There is nothing logical about experiencing this. Ever.
I don’t normally pray. I certainly don’t do it for myself. Adriana, Mrs. Cesar and Little Cesar need my prayers…. and yours, if you’d be so obliging. I have every confidence that my good friend Cesar is delighting some folks with some Spanish guitar or even rocking them out with what I’m sure is a better equipped world than this one.
To my friend Cesar. Rock on.