When I was a kid, I watched The Neverending Story. A lot of things about that movie fucked me up… like no one missing Bastian, and Artax drowning in sadness, Falcor having to rip Atreyu away from the same sadness that took Artax, but especially the Nothing.
I found the idea of NOTHING spreading over Fantastica/Fantasia to be nothing short of impossible to imagine. I mean when people think of emptiness, they think of black, but darkness is something. The only way I’ve really been able to grasp the idea of nothingness is through death. Death is admittedly something, but when you die everything you are becomes nothing…
Today I learned that a friend from high school overdosed and died. I don’t know if it was intentional or accidental, but the result is the same: he’s dead. We weren’t close, and I wouldn’t be so rude as to pretend that we were. I can’t tell you what he’s been up to or if he was involved with anyone. All I know is that when I knew him, he was a nice kid, and the people who knew him more recently seem to have really cared about him.
It’s weird when someone you’re aware of but not at all close to dies. When you’re close to the deceased you have feelings. You feel loss and hurt and longing. When it’s just someone you’re aware existed, it’s sad, but it doesn’t really hurt. There’s no hole in your chest where that person used to be, no regret that you never got to tell them something.
I, personally, just don’t know how you’re supposed to feel when someone you weren’t close to dies.I’m not empty of emotion. I’m sad about it, kind of. His absence now reminds me of the times we DID interact.
My favorite was in high school. I actually went to his house, with a group of friends. His parents were, and probably still are, loaded. We all jumped in his pool, and his mom didn’t even ask questions when he took a giant ball of wet black clothing up to the drier. We sat around in our underwear, wrapped in blankets, and watch The Exorcist, scaring ourselves and each other the best we could. I can’t remember why we there, since it wasn’t a place we usually hung out. Nothing nefarious or even PG-13 happened. We were just dumb kids and we had a nice time. I can’t even tell you why we were there instead of at one of our usual hangouts…
It’s weird that he doesn’t exist anymore, but there’s no emptiness associated with it. It’s like when celebrities die… you’re sad, but you know that in a couple of days you won’t really even think about it. In this case I feel bad I won’t think about it, though. He should be thought about. He was a person, and people deserve recognition.
So, I don’t know. I guess I just want to remember him.
So here’s to you Jared. You were a nice kid I once knew, and you seem to have touched a lot of people. I’m sorry you’re gone. I just hope that whatever happened, you were happy in life.