I found out yesterday that a guy I've known for maybe 13, 14 years killed himself this week. He and I were never that close, but he and one of my best friends were all but brothers.
Isn't it funny how that works? You've got these people who are so tightly tied to you, so much a part of your daily life. You feel like you know everything about them and they know everything about you. But, the whole time, you both have story lines going that have nothing to do with each other. We all carry little chapters of our friends, memories only shared by the two of you or more important to you both than to others. How you met. Trips you took. When you helped each other through or over some pain and trouble.
That's what we did last night, of course. As soon as we, a handful of us, found out what happened, we rallied around the deepest wounded. We huddled close to him and listened, put on hands on his shoulders when he cried. "Okay," he said, later in the evening, as the shock wore off, "I'm ready to wake up now." But he didn't, because you don't, because death fucking sucks like that.
So he's riding up today with another might-as-well-be-brother to the wake in North Carolina. Those of us left in town will worry about them, because grief makes people drive badly, but I guess they'll make it fine. They'll come back with an ending to the story of their lives with Demetri. He was 29, an artist, and a traveler, and he shot himself in the head Sunday.