I sit here, typing that, and it still seems hard to comprehend. We've been friends for nearly 28 years...half my life. I just don't know where to begin.
I've tried time and again to write this . . . and I just can't. Because this isn't a light a single candle moment for me, this is a rage against the darkness time in my life.
There is a whole world full of miserable, awful people who fall ass backwards into money, fortune, good times and the easy life. They rub our noses in it constantly. Smug superiority and self importance. These fuckers live on forever it seems, never called to answer for what they've done or whom they've hurt. I don't want to hear about God's plan or how it all works out in the end, or how I cannot comprehend His ways. Fine. Don't explain it all. Explain this! Please. Explain how this is right!
My best friend busted his ass his entire life. Worked hard to support and provide for his family. We talked often about how, at our age, we should be thinking about retiring instead of wondering how we would be able to do this job when we would be 65 or 67 or whatever the eventual push you out the door age will be.
There are people everywhere, and especially my workplace, that would laugh (not openly of course) or comment sotto voce about what a fool my friend was for working so hard. How dumb it is not to call in sick for those oh so necessary mental health days that crop up after the Super Bowl or St. Patty's or WrestleMania or something random horseshit excuse.
But my friend believed in the contract. Not that piece of crap between our union and the post office, but the real contract -- you pay me, I come to work and give you the best I've got. It's a vanishing ethic in this world of onesy wearing metrosexuals living in mommy's basement. But it is what built this country and this world and made it something special. The people who laugh at my friend -- you're the fucking joke! You aren't worthy to sweep the floor he walked on as far as I'm concerned.
My friend's wife had to leave the workforce early due to medical problems. And my buddy just dug harder. His youngest son decided he could do better in life with a college degree, so he quit his job and went back to school. My friend stepped up to help him financially. I've known others in my life who haven't raised anything more complicated than a house plant who always love to give advice along the lines of kick 'em out when their 18, if they fail, it's on them, that's what my mom and dad did. Yeah, well . . . I'm happy for you. But my buddy wasn't raised like that. He put his head down shouldered that burden and kept on marching . . . on two complete knee replacements!
I like the work I do. But I don't like my workplace. The post office is an unpleasant atmosphere to work in. The one thing I could always look forward to was seeing my friend. Talking racing or home projects or politics or food or whatever. Now that's gone. I've got nothing left. I have to work at a place that will happily throw me under the bus anytime a sheet of paper says I'm not working hard enough. Or I've missed one confirmation scan out of the hundred plus I have every day. I have to watch my slutbag ex-girlfriend throw herself at anything with a penis and be feted like she's Aphrodite in the flesh every day. And now I've got no respite from all of this. It's fucking purgatory.
My best friend is dead. And the world, and especially my workplace, is a dimmer darker place because of his absence.