I'm sitting in the dark, writing...

I'm sitting in the dark, writing, as one candle flickers next to me, lighting a little corner of my bedroomof my world. The candle is lit for a dear friend who is sick and desperately needs light in her life, or maybe it's that she needs life in her light that burns so strong.

But my candle is also lit in remembrance tonight, of a friend from long ago who has left this world of his own choice. My heart broke when I read the news that he was gone, and I wish I could have bottled up my tears and sent them to him so he knew how much he mattered.

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Suicide is a terrible, ugly word, and I don't want it to be what defines you. If you we're sitting at my kitchen table for a chat, here's what I'd tell you. You fought demons most of the world can't begin to comprehend, and you did it for more than three decades. Anyone who says you aren't a fighter can, well let's just say I've got some choice verbiage.

During those decades, you made people laugh with your wicked wit. You slayed people with the flourish of a pen, and you created more adventures for yourself than most people do given twice or three times the time. I mean, you hopping on your bike to drive to South America. You drove a truck up to Maine to propose to a girl 15 minutes after meeting her the first time in person. You we're kind of insane, you know that?

Your love of books and words changed me. I wouldn't have experienced Aldous Huxley and his Brave New World if it weren't for you, or Hitchhiker's Guide. Catch 22. Kurt Vonnegut. Or any of the other books from that damn book list I threw away before I knew it would be the last shreds of you I'd ever see. I read your writing, too, and your words had the power to suck your reader into your world. Your world was dark and heavy, and through your words I felt every bit of it.

I won't pretend I understand your dark side, or that I know anything about the way your life unfolded after you left town on your bike that summer long ago. But I want you to know that though I can never understand your world, I do understand what it's like to have your soul become a piece of paper crumpled up so tightly it doesn't feel it will ever lay flat again, ever iron out. Oh how I know that.

I don't know if you saw the beauty in this world when you we're a dot on a map, moving slowly up and down this continent, adventuring solo. Struggling solo. But I hope you did. And I want you to know this: I see the beauty in you.

Entire oceans have been cried over you, Torrey. Of that I'm certain. I wish the tears could sweep away the demons that haunted you, in one great rushing flood. But then, maybe they have.

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Posted in Mental Health Post Date 04/12/2021


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