Hell’s Kitchen lost its very best broken angel today.
Outside the window of a little blue Midwestern house, a gentle summer rain pattered. It made it feel like the whole world was mourning for her tonight, too. Suffering the blow collectively. Taking the hit. Because sometimes, the universe decides that it’s just going to keep fucking swinging. And it doesn’t seem to matter just how far down you’ve already been kicked–more blows are coming.
So I poured myself a drink.
Then I broke an earlier promise to not sit stupidly in the rain.
And I put on her favorite song.
The song I used to endlessly tease her about. Because on that impromptu Big Apple road trip, ill-fated and ridiculous, I wanted to be counting the cows; all she wanted was Counting Crows.
I sat on a wet stone wall bordering the little creek that runs nearby. I turned my body to the east in a ridiculous endeavor to feel just a tiny bit closer to her. But in doing so, I realized that now she’s too fucking far away, forever.
And all I saw were more storm clouds.
So I closed my eyes. Turned a flushed face towards the sky. Felt the rain mix with my tears.
I wanted to scream. Just rage at the coming emptiness of the night. My hands trembled–not because of the dampness. But because they wanted to punch that fucking stone wall. But, I had broken enough promises for one night. So I didn’t break any bones.
I would have to find a healthier way of hurting myself.
More than anything, I wanted to invent a time machine. Just so I could go back in time and dick-punch the early pushers of opioids with my typewriter. Hit them hard enough to castrate their efforts of unleashing that addictive scourge on the land.
They are partially to blame for how she got caught up living the new version of the American dream–I lost count of the number of times she went to rehab. But we all knew, early on, that she was just wired for addiction.
But between the time of initial escalating bad decisions and that lethal push of a final needle, many ridiculously memorable adventures were shared. It wasn’t always scabbed skin and gaunt, waxy flesh. Or another doomed inpatient catastrophe.
We had our good times, too.
I remember how pretty she looked when we obnoxiously crashed into that Soho club scene. How adventurous she was down on Bourbon Street, peeing in that alley with the locals like a champ. Even though she did get her shoes wet. I can still feel her hand in mine, looping around the Chicago skyline.
It was never romantic between us.
We loved each other, but decided very early on to keep that love pure and not pollute it with temporary, fleshy distractions. And that allowed us to have, in our early adult years, the type of innocent friendship usually reserved for the very young. Before ugly urges and erect interferences make everything so fucking complicated.
She was an oasis of purity in an ugly world. And she was so fucking beautiful, despite the increasing population of her demons.
Then my own life became complicated.
Letters became scarce. Addresses changed. There was the brief time she was in jail. Lives shifted. Relationships evolved and eventually collapsed.
Usually I kept track of her through a grapevine growing more tenuous and brittle with every passing year. And today, it hit me unexpectedly with an objectively expected conclusion.
I hate myself for not having done more to help her. I should have maybe been better about keeping her close. And safe. With that much room to roam in an effort to chase down anything strong enough to numb her hurt, the logical part of me understands it was probably always going to end this way.
But my heart will never understand it.
There are just too many unanswered questions. And too many fucking tears left yet to cry.
All I know for certain is that Hell’s Kitchen lost its very best broken angel today.
And though that angel was so inherently flawed and fragile, to me she was always so fucking beautiful.
Because she was my friend.
And I will miss the significance of her, forever.