Trash of the Gods.  Chapter 10,  The Quick Depressing Ending

I remember the last time we hung out, our last hoorah just before graduation. We ran into each other at school on one of the rare occasions he was there and clear headed. Resolved to start fresh and put any nasty business behind us, we decided to smoke some weed at Robert’s place. A sort of for old time’s sake kind of deal.
And there we caught up on what we each were thinking about philosophically these days and where our Tool or Tom Waits obsessions had led us. It was as if nothing was different, as if nothing was changed or had ever happened for this one afternoon. But something about it all just felt like it would be our last time together. as if it were plato watching socrate’s trial, you could guess who would drink the he lock. Deep down I think we both knew it, but didn’t want to admit it.
when i left we resolved to hang out again, that it had been too long, but we both knew it wasnt going to happen. He would get high and hang out with his girl as soon as I would be home, and I would be in my studies taking a puff or two in my back yard to ease the stress of finals.
My college life was a stoned drunk and psychedelic journey through narcotics and the English and Film departments of a Northern California state university.  
I fucked, fucked up, and got fucked up. I hung out with local bands and met new and fascinating people every day. I even came into my own as an artist and started painting.
All I knew about Robert was from second hand info from the few other friends I kept in touch with after high school. according to them Robert was on a downward spiral of addiction, crime, and domestic abuse.  
One night, after drinking a full bottle of Jack Daniel’s to his dome, he left his girlfriend with a black eye and a patch of bruises on all four corners of her body. Then later in an attempt to get drug money he was caught breaking and entering, and got three months.
Then one day on my 3rd year of college, I was taking a shit and scrolling through my Facebook feed.  
I saw the posts, everyone from high school was in morning, talking about how smart and gifted he was and how it was such a waste.
 Robert was hit by a car, dead at 23, riding his bike down the wrong side of the street, drunk, without any helmets or lights. I learned every detail about the death of my best friend while sitting on a toilet.
So that was it, that was how it all ended. An alter was set up in memoriam by our friends from highschool, leaving flowers in empty forty ounce bottles like vases on the corner where he was killed. They used melting candles at the memoriam to spell phis name on the pavement, and the word “Robert” glowed on the ground in red glistening wax for a few weeks before it chipped off the sidewalk, leaving nothing behind.
I miss Robert, I would not be the person I am without him. And I let his life serve as a lesson to my own. The choices we make will always follow is for the rest of our lives, they can make us, or destroy us. Robert let his choices destroy him, and yet, in a way I envy him. I don’t think anyone can argue that Robert lived more in his short life than most people do even if they live to be a ripe old age.  
The boys all dispersed into various labor jobs and dui arrests as my education continued. I lost touch with all of them of course. But to this day I still think of Robert and them and the effect they had on my life. And no matter what Robert has done or how much we hurt each other, I am glad I knew him and my only regret is deciding to turn my back on him instead of reaching out my hand.

Published by James J Jackson

I'm a poet from California.

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