I have 3 friends that I have grown
up with since we were all 13-14 years old. We’re always together, even if not
physically; we keep no secret from one another; we are family. On this day 4
years ago (and in the past 13 years, that was the only year I lived in Taiwan),
we said goodbye to one of our “bros.” He was 32; we were all 32; we had known
each other for almost 20 years. Since then, numbers have stopped mattering.
Today, I can still feel the weight of the coffin I was carrying. That seems to
have happened just yesterday while at the same time that seems to have never
happened... because, just like it has always been, I still see my bro BirdHan, hear him talk, and do things
with him, not just in my dreams but in my memories, which are as present and
ongoing as they are about the past. The three of us who are left still talk
about him all the time, not in the way that people remorse about something
that’s lost, but in the way that’s like, well, like it’s always been, like he’s
with us. So now I know he IS with us,
and we have not been left behind. All of us have been together all the same.
And time, and age, those never mattered: a joke we shared when we were 14 is as
fresh as a joke we shared when we were 20 and is as fresh as a joke we shared
when we are now 36.
I had not been able to put these
feelings/thoughts/perceptions/emotions/sentiments in words. Now I have. And
here is a caricature of us when we were in middle school: still the same, I
still got plenty of pimples haha.