The Morning After

The news arrived quietly, through the email, a brief note, a link for more details.

I was stunned, immediately reading the announcement out loud. “Generous in spirit; gave of himself tirelessly; believed that art had the power to change lives.” The obituary was dated two months earlier, not even an opportunity to attend a virtual gathering, too late again. It seemed sudden and yet I had no basis to know otherwise. There had been no contact for years, which happened instantly after another disclosure, even more shocking, spread stealthily, whispered.

I did not connect in the immediate aftermath, the toxicity too radioactive to touch, the image impossible to comprehend. We shared laughs and food, art and baseball. We dined at his house, spouses and friends, shared beers, shared stories. The two worlds did not align. The picture masked the underpainting. Many responded with recrimination. Mine was a state of disbelief discussed with those who would speak about it, purposeful avoidance with those who would not. And then he left.

His life here ruined, enough to escape without notice. Our connection was severed, no reason to let me know. Eventually I acquired his address with the intention to write. It didn’t happen. I didn’t know how. I was paralyzed. He was a victim and I couldn’t find the courage to find a way back.

Now he is gone.

And I am left with regret.

And sadness.

We have a chance to find the sunshine
Let’s keep on looking for the light

4 thoughts on “The Morning After

  1. Beautifully written. I do recognize him and have heard only a few whispers. I can be reached via email and would love to ask a few questions.

    Liked by 1 person

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