Last Friday began a series of several strange days for me. The story begins from about a year and a half ago when we were in an English class, talking about good sources vs. bad sources used in research. He brought up the Jesus Christ Superstore while I mentioned Landover Baptist's site as sources that may be entertaining, but not quite eligible as a good source. We joked about it after class and he wanted to exchange numbers and hang out outside of school sometime. I didn't want to, but I did anyway just to be nice.
He'd call me at the most inconvenient times, and I'd never answer the phone. He just wanted to hang out and drink a beer. I always thought of him as a decent kid, but for some reason I was being an asshole and didn't want to bring any more friends into my circle. I was perfectly comfortable with who I socialized with. From there on I'd run into him at school and he would constantly ask me what my plans were for the weekend. I always seemed to have a full schedule that wouldn't accommodate an hour or so to play a round of frisbee golf or invite him over to watch my Drive-by Truckers DVD.
I ran into him last week and asked what his plans were for the weekend, even though mine were dedicated to work. He didn't offer much of a response.....
Saturday I pick up the paper at work and on A-2 I read he took his own life Friday afternoon. I've spent the last 4-5 days in a very confused manner. Could things have gone differently if I would have answered the phone and listened to him every once in awhile?
So Monday I went to his visitation. The only time I ever took time out of my schedule to pay him any attention. I greeted his family and his girlfriend, told them the kindest words I could come up with, and left. Later that night I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to applause. Leno was coming back from a commercial break, and he introduced Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. Half-asleep from my deep sleep, his song struck a nerve and has been plastered in memory ever since.
The lyrics don't really fit the equation, but it's possible they would have if I wouldn't have been such a jerk and avoided him for so long. Trying to find reasons for the way I feel about this has been tough. One part tells me that it would have happened anyway, other part says if I would've offered an ear that he'd still be roaming the halls at school right now. It's too late now, but I'm sorry for being an asshole Andy.