I woke up the other day from a dream. It was honestly one of the most vivid dreams I’ve had in years. I was in a flood. Not just any old flood, I mean like the whole city became rapids, destroying everything. Once it was done, we were pretty much reduced to living in shanty towns. I woke up and immediately looked online to see what it meant. Apparently a rushing flood means some kind of emotional turmoil and upheaval is happening.
Lord knows that is an understatement. I can honestly say, in some small way, (or perhaps a larger way I have yet to identify) Pete’s passing has changed me. I went from having compassion for his lifelong struggle with drugs to being really fucking angry. Like I’m having to hold myself together at weddings and shit, all because of his problem. I have to say, once I thought of it that way, I can honestly only imagine what it must have been like for his family the whole damned time to be forced to hold themselves together on the daily, while their son/brother/husband/friend/boyfriend was doing drugs. How do you get up and proceed and function and be normal and happy, all while hoping that your loved one isn't found dead in the streets one day?
I think one of the changes for me has been my dating life. What I need and whatnot. Who I want and what I prioritize has shifted. Sex is pretty far from my mind right now. I’m still pretty outgoing, but even how I handle parties has changed. I’ve never been a huge drinker, typically 3 is my limit, but on the times I have had spirits, the first time I felt guilty and the second time I had far less than my regular. When I think of drinking, I wonder what his motivation was to get high. Parental stress? Girls? Honestly, from what I recall in conversation, I think he just liked the feel of that shit. I dunno, maybe he really was masking something. In the coffeehouse hang out session I’d planned for us to have, that was one of the questions I intended to ask him. And now like everything else I’d hoped for out budding friendship, it will never come to pass.
I went to a colleague’s wedding yesterday, and I didn’t quite expect the emotions I’d had. I’d originally invited Pete to the wedding, as the bride interns with me, but he didn’t know who she was and I think he didn’t really want to sit around a bunch of strangers, so he declined. The following week when he saw me, he asked how the wedding was. I told him it hadn’t happened yet. The colleague getting married is white, as is her husband. So essentially myself, another intern and like 2 or 3 other people were the only black people there. It reminded me of Pete’s service. The whole time I kept thinking of how in that moment in time, I wish he'd been able to join me in person. I saw a biracial couple at the wedding, black female, white male. It made me think more of Pete. At some point I had to dismiss myself because I felt a crying spell coming on, but I managed to hold it together. I cried as my colleague walked down the aisle. Everyone else cried because they were happy. I was thankful for that moment because it allowed me a safe spot to cry publicly, although my tears were from my thoughts about my departed friend.
I’ll keep things in the alleged arena, but the more the facts roll in, the more it looks like my friend ODed. So there I was, in public, essentially mourning all over again. It was one thing to say farewell to him when I thought his heart up and stopped. But instead… so I’m really fucking sad and angry now. Like damn homie, REALLY?! Another coworker told me a couple of months back that he’d overheard Pete on the phone some months back and dude seemed to really be going through it. He said that it practically sounded like Pete was on the verge of using again. That was the first time I’d realized just how bad the monkey on his back was. Afterwards, I shot Pete a text saying that I realized that he must be going through a daily struggle that I could not begin to fully grasp, but that nevertheless, I’m here if he needed to shout or cry. I just wanted to make sure he was good. He responded with a text that said “thanks for the support.”
So I’m back to crying now, but for completely different reasons. Because I’m hurt and angry. I thought back on my brief conversation with his mother, and how her overall mood seemed flat. I mean if I had to bury my son, I’d be a literal mess. I knew that he struggle was something I couldn’t completely understand, but now that the facts are out, I get it more. Because living through this has me fucking livid. Like I can’t enjoy myself at a fucking wedding because you did this to yourself. All of the people depending on you and you did this shit to yourself. The kids we work with, the COO that hired him back, ME, his daughter. He may have burned bridges in his past, but there were still a lot of people that believed in him to pull through this once and for all.
Some days I feel Pete more than others, and I felt him strongly last night. As a medium, I guess I’ll tell you that on the other side, people don’t really feel guilt. Like if a mother is exceptionally abusive to her child and the child wants an apologetic mama on the other side, it ain’t happening. Like mama may explain why she acted the way she did, but she’s not sitting up in the clouds, regretting how she treated people. Once people make it to the other side, they becoming loving, but not regretful. Like many other things, it can be a trip to deal with.
As I drove back yesterday, I was pretty pissed. I came home to a quiet place. Still even. It was about 2 in the morning. I started to clean and prepare a snack. I kept thinking that I needed a tv or some white noise because the silence was killing me, since it was just me and spirit Pete in that spot. I went to the bedroom to put something away, I came back out and the tv was on. Did you hear me? Read me? Go back and read that shit again. I thought about turning the tv on, but I did not. I went to the other room. I came back and the fucking tv was on. I felt like I’d been drenched with water. I remember my feet getting really hot as I looked at the damned tv THAT I DID NOT TURN ON. It was ON. So I did what any other logical woman would do. I drove to the night club where my best friend worked and told his ass that he was coming back to the apartment with me.
Yes, I feel Pete. I hear him. I pick up on his signs. He’s with me. He's not exactly apologetic, but he's loving. He still makes jokes on the other side. He hugs me. He holds my hand. And he turns on tvs. Some shit really does just happen to me. I think he did it because I was pissed at him. He’s such a fucking Gemini.