Six Years Out

I’m late on writing this and I don’t have a particularly good reason. Maybe the notion of marking someone’s passing is hard and less intense as time goes by. I don’t know if that makes me a terrible person or not, but it exists, nonetheless.

Some of this is because I am 700 miles away from my life with my friend Taft, who passed six years ago on May 29. A lot of it is because of the duel markings of birth and death days for someone who has passed. When I was last in Chicago — on Taft’s birthday, of course — I went to his grave site and talked to the thing like he was there. It was sort of a marking, in my own way, and I even did that stupid “pour one out” for him. I’m not sure how else to do it.

Six years is a long time, no doubt. In that time, several from our group of friends have gotten married and a few have even had children. I have done neither, but I’m in a different place, mindset-wise and I perpetually wonder how the past six years would’ve treated Taft. Would he have been some über-producer on television? Would he have ended up writing on a great show or even doing something completely different? Maybe he would’ve written a book or became a standup or ended up in an improv (guh) troupe. Maybe he would’ve met the perfect woman and have been added to the list of friends who fell in love and reproduced. Tossing a little ball to a tiny Taft on a lawn somewhere.

I guess I love to think of a combination of all of them, in some bucolic Southern California setting. The sun’s bright and the world is great, because Taft is there, being awesome. It’s better than reality, for sure.

I repeat this every year, it seems, but the hardest part are the dreams. I still have consistent dreams that he’s still here. They’ve decreased in frequency — maybe once every couple of monthes now? — but have not gone away.

Mourning is a weird, personal thing and it’s hard for me to continue to do it here. But, I do. It’s really to try to figure out what’s going on in my head.

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