Twenty-nine years ago today, I attempted suicide. Last week, a guy I went to school with succeeded.
I haven’t seen, or even much thought of, this guy since I was 14. We weren’t close; in fact, I never would have said we were friends. But he was nice to me. He was cute and funny and ornery; when I picture fictional characters like Peter Pan or Huck Finn, it’s his face I see. I don’t remember him not smiling.
From what I’ve gleaned from the internet, he had a whole lot to be unhappy about since I saw him last. Eventually, it overpowered him. I’m sorry for that in a way I can’t quite express.
Junior high is not the best period of a kid’s life — it certainly wasn’t a high point in mine. I flip through my yearbooks now and don’t remember many of those people. But I remember him. Was he sometimes jerky, as almost-teen boys are wont to be? I’d be surprised if he weren’t. But I don’t remember that. What I remember is that he smiled a lot. Laughed more. And he was nice.
May he rest in peace.