When I think of him, I think of the color yellow. Not just because that was the color of his hair, or because it was the color I wore to the dance we went to together, or because it was the color of the reptile that for some strange reason I think I remember he had in – was it the coffee table in his family home? – or because it was the dominant color of the insane Hawaiian shirt he is wearing in a an old Polaroid photo I have of the two of us at some silly Hawaiian themed dance at PHS, or because yellow is just so ridiculously sunshiny and bright like he always was, but I suppose because of all of these things.
I wonder if sometimes the people who are so bright and vivid are the ones who suffer the most from the dark.
I have not seen him in several years. The last time was undoubtedly at some Petaluma event where cheery greetings and hugs were exchanged, careful to maintain levity in order to ensure that we were all living up to our Facebook statuses.
When I look at pictures now being posted around and I see how he had changed, like we all do, I still see a bright yellow (dare I say… aura?) glow around his wide, genuine and open smile.
But all the bright colors in the universe cannot cover up the darkness that can sometimes befall a person, who is just a person on their own, making their way as best a they can. The effort to do so would be futile at best, patronizing at worst. Since I heard the news and I consider the deep sadness that became too much for him to handle and I think of all that darkness, I still see the brightness.
I wish he could have.
Rest in Peace T.B., you always made me smile and will be dearly missed.
I read the news today, oh boy . . .
About a lucky man who made the grade;
And though the news was rather sad,
Well, I just had to laugh—