Monday, May 20, 2013

My friend Jerral

I learned this weekend that my dear friend, my dearest friend and brother in all but blood, my friend, my friend... my connection to mortality, my secret sibling - Jerral Wayne Johnson - committed suicide. I love you brother, I'm sorry it had to hurt so bad, I'm sorry I wasn't there. I love you Jerral, I love you, I miss you, I'm sorry, forgive me.

Jerral is the only friend I've ever had who I actually thought of as my brother.  We even wrote and signed a contract - making us brothers - with our own blood, and shook bloody hands over it.  Yeah.  We really did that.  And I honored that pact by completely ignoring it.

The last time I saw or spoke to Jerral we had been drinking and we had fought pretty severely.  I know Jerral - I know that he was a tortured soul; that he always was his own worst enemy, and that alcohol brought out his demons.  I know that he felt terrible about what happened between us, and that he was sorry.  I know that he agonized over the memories of our last encounter and endured extreme guilt because of it.  I know he was sorry... I know all of this; I knew all of this, but  I never contacted him again or told him how sorry I was, or asked his forgiveness, or gave him my own forgiveness.  I just left him there, mired in his own feelings of self hatred, and I never even tried to heal that breach between us.  I never even tried.

Never have I ever felt like this before.  Ever.  I can't help but think... if I'd contacted him, if I'd made some kind of effort to talk to him again, that he'd still be alive now.  But I never suspected... I never imagined... I never thought in a million years that he'd take his own life.  I was always sure there would be time to get together with him again.  I always assumed that I'd see him again, and that we'd talk about that fight we had when we last saw each other, and that we'd laugh about it and call each other idiots while remembering how drunk and stupid we had been at the time.

But that never happened... so here it is, continually before me... a moment which will always contain the death of my friend.  And there I am, forced to observe this truth as it just sits there... still and unchanging.  And somehow this never ending moment, this persistence of NOW, this terrible, happened thing, this moment which contains within it the first real description of suicide that I've actually known - all other descriptions before this one were in black and white and projected onto a broken wooden fence in broad daylight - all of this truth containing moment exists solely as a construction of the most terrible thing I've ever experienced in my life.  And there it is, continually before me, and here I am... forced to observe its persistence.

It's interesting, in a clinical, detached way... a new emotion, something new to feel.  A brand spanking new experience.  Interesting.

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