Letter to a Friend: Year 0
Truly, you were the best of shitcunts. I met a lot of shitcunts before you, and I’ve met a lot since… but I’m yet to meet one truly worthy of knocking the crown from your head.
It’s not supposed to go like this. That, of course, is a valueless statement—there is no grand design—but all the same, there’s meant to be an order to these things. First, your grandparents kick it, then the ‘rents, maybe a few older family friends or aunts and uncles… But your friends? We hold on to those precious treasures until the very end.
And this is out of order.
When it happened, a friend—another Grade A shitcunt (you’d love him)—told me to write about you. So I did. I started to fill my journal with stories of you. And of us. I started to write all the things I never want to forget; there’s still a lot more to write.
I think that’s the greatest tragedy of all, Ben: you don’t get to see this. You don’t get to see the sadness and the tears… the devastation that your departure leaves in its wake; just how many people are hurting. I’m sure you were told a million-billion times how special you are—Kerry never shut the fuck up about it—but truly, I think you were too damn humble to ever realise it. Only now, we have the evidence to prove it, but you’re not here to see it.
You sneaky motherfucker.
I never actually told you how much you meant to me… How much I loved you. But I think—I feel—I didn’t have to. That’s the beauty of the boiz: words are superfluous.
But, I didn’t tell you. I didn’t tell you how every time I came back, you were always the first person I went to. I always went right to you because I knew. I knew exactly how it would play out.
First, you’d sweep me up in the mother of all bear hugs—the same kind my Gramps used to give me before the senility and ravages of time. You’d squeeze every last bit of air from me. When I did manage to catch my breath again, you’d slam the bong and the chop down on the table, and we’d just talk.
But… we didn’t talk about bullshit; you didn’t ask me stupid-ass questions about “the journey” or “what I’d learnt”. You didn’t care about the inner machinations of the universe. You were beyond that nonsense.
We’d just talk shit.
I’d tell you ridiculous stories about crazy Indians, hitchhiking, retrieving fishing hooks from dogs’ penises, and whatever typical Ziggy bullshit had happened this time. And you’d tell me the stories of what I’d missed. Updates about yours, mine, or our friends’ cunt-exes (I relished every time you called them lizards). You’d tell me about your bloody barefoot-shoes. Or how all the boiz were doing. Gigs you’d been to. New DnB tracks, new video games, new stupid crap Sakura and Galadriel had done… the exact kinda conversation I can’t get anywhere else in the world.
When we ran out of new stories, we’d turn to the old and reminisce. And when you’d out-ripped me under the table (as you always did), we’d go inside so you could play a game—probably Mario Kart—and I’d lie on the couch watching the screen, stoned up to my eyeballs, and fall asleep—blissfully. At that moment, I was home.
You gave me a place to retrace my steps to. I never told you that, and that’s the only real regret I have.
Wherever you’re kickin’ it now, I reckon it’s grand. I reckon the chocolate rains are falling hard. I’ll see you there I hope, but if not, I propose we come back as tapeworms and live inside Nick’s chocbox. I think he’d like that.
All those goings—all those returns to you—and there are still only three things that I know to be true:
- You were the best.
You were the hobbit that always stayed, and I was the hobbit that always came back. You were the best hobbit a hobbit could have.
I miss you so much, man. I love you so much. Peace, yo.
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