Friday, September 19, 2008

I'll Be Your Friend, Chris

Laura, Chris, and Tony

I'm writing this entry for Chris Maness, a vibrant, colorful light that was exstinguished too soon.

You always brought such laughter and playful cheer to everything, Chris, whether it was when we were sitting on the bleachers in 8th grade PE while Hoovdawg (what we called our PE teacher) tried to convince me that I was Indian based on the fact that I wore my hair in braids and that he knew an Indian who shared my last name or... the incident in our English class. It was sophomore year, wasn't it? World Literature. We had a sub that I later described to our teacher as "evil personified" and he looked cheery and said, "Really? Wow, I wish I could've met her!"

That Umbridge made us all sit down and write an in-class essay about something controversial. I remember trying to decide if I should write about the controversy surrounding archaeology in Egypt -- disturbing the dead to raid their tombs for knowledge -- or the illegal bushmeat trade in Africa. You were usually doodling X-Rated cartoons or the like, so when you said that you didn't know what to write about, I suggested that you should write about how unfair it is that we can't walk around naked if we want to. So you did.

About fifteen minutes later I heard snickering so I looked around. That's when I noticed that you had stripped down to your boxers. I laughed. Audrey was guffawing, as well, and whispered "You just noticed?"

Around then is when the Umbridge also noticed and her eyes bugged out. "Young man, put your clothes back on!"

"What?" you said, feigning innocence. "I'm just getting into the mood for my essay."

"Young man, you will put your clothes back on or I'm sending you to the principal!"

It was a bit of a distraction...

In the end you sighed and pulled your pants and shirt back on, but dude... what a great story! I could claim that I got one of the hot water polo guys to strip in class.

The last time I saw you was at a party about three years ago. I was leaving and you were one of the last people I talked to, sitting out on the porch. "Hey, I saw you on MySpace," you said and I smiled. "Bone Rice Films or something like that. Can I be your friend on MySpace?"

"Of course," I laughed. You were totally stoned but maybe you'd remember later.

"Really?" You sounded like a hopeful child. "You'll be my friend?"

I was still laughing. "Yeah, Chris, I'll be your friend."

I'll always be your friend.

I didn't really want to know any of the details after I found out that you died in a car crash, but I've heard some anyway, and they're nothing short of horrific. I am so sorry, my friend. I wish you didn't have to go through that. And though I wish that you did not leave us, I hope that you died quickly.

Your sudden passing is still so hard to understand, and though you certainly were not a constant presence in my life, I will miss you. My heart goes out to you and your family in this most difficult and painful of times.
May you be at peace, my friend.


Mo said...

I'm so sorry.

I know what you're going through 2 months after my grade 12 graduation, my friend drove himself nito a semi-truck.

It'll get easier to think of him, I promise, but the pain that your friend is gone, never goes away. For me it'll be 4 years next week since Geoff died.

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss of a friend.

Mackenzies Momma said...

aww, I'm sorry about the loss of your friend. *HUGS*

Tracie said...

I'm so sorry to hear that.