I think it’s clear as fuck that I’m a weird person. I think I’m kind of evolved, but all my life have been asserting that there’s more personal evolution at work to happen, always.
Which makes me cringe at my own personal history, sometimes. I think that’s a good thing – like, imagine waking up one day and then having realized that everyone’s got their own mental issues, like you, and the way you’ve lashed out for your own sake, has come to the cost of others. And imagine waking up one day, for whatever reason, more compassionate, and able to re-evaluate. Guess what: that’s NOT a warm and fuzzy awakening. It actually makes you feel very sad, like a shitty person. That remorse, while affectively, is a ball of sucktitude, is one of those very healthy unpleasant trials that’ll make you a better person for its experience.
It’ll still make you a better human, and is worth doing.
So when I look back at my freshman year in college, you know, I think present day me would have a LOT to say to past-tense me. I’d like to believe we’d both have a LOT to teach each other, but I know I have a lot I’d like to teach past-tense me about when to be stubborn, when to take risks, when to be cleaner (pretty much always) when to fashion, when to brag, when to troll, when to quietly observe, when to express, when to go for the girl, when to switch classes and realize 24 credits involves 7 credits which waste time and that 17 minutes of sleep a night is not cool….etc.
I think I was embarrassing far, far more often than I am today.
But I was also quirky, interesting, cool in my own way.
And one of the guys who saw that in me, cause I saw it in him was a suitemate, Brandon. Brandon was always cool as fuck, and I think he recognized these quirks, faults and values I bring, and we got along no, problem. Because with a guy like Brandon, you have a problem if you can’t get along. You’d meet him, appreciate the fact that he was 6’2 and smiled the way he did, and after a little observation just get the instant impression that he was a good guy and never doubt that he had his invites to parties. You couldn’t say the same for me, unless you assumed those parties were strange. But for a college freshman, Brandon brought something else to the table besides that
He brought himself.
You see, Brandon wasn’t a bro. Brandon was Brandon. Brandon was smart enough to evaluate people, young and fun enough to want to do things college guys do, but he was always nice about it. Counter-example: my original roommate, and Brandon’s roommate, were both bros. They joined the same frat, and acted like it. They both yelled at their mothers. They both caused property damage via drunk antics and never, ever, ever took responsibility.
Brandon would smile and play super smash brothers (REALLY WELL) and studied, had fun, and studied, and had fun again. He and I became roommates that semester. We did it illegally, cause he was that used to practical reasoning, and we were both too….fun, for our broski roommates. Campus halls called for meetings when they found this out, but when we explained the personality determinants, the hall director agreed, and just told us to do the paperwork next time. And that’s how I got my favorite college roommate.
I’m going into all of this because I just found out that Brandon is dead.
Brandon was a cool adult way, way before I was a cool adult. Really. He bartended before I did (when I started bartending in nyc, I remember looking him up on facebook and going FUNNY! We both chose to do that for a while how’s that treating ya?) and it was one of those pleasant, exclamation point type of talks. lolyeah, thatsgreat! See ya later. When I went to buffalo, I stopped by his bar and left because he wasn’t working there. Catching up with Brandon alone was easily reason to venture buffalo’s cold, strangely wandered walks, it was a no brainer.
He and I were very different, but had enough similarities that there was plenty to learn from. At least definitely so on my end.
Brandon was one of those guys who was so nice, it was not surprising at all when he set a wedding date with a beautiful girlfriend. Brandon was one of those architecture students who had managed to have fun working crazy hours that it became clear, even if he didn’t practice architecture as his profession, he’d be successful doing whatever he did.
Brandon decided to open his own business. His store was doing fine. Brandon’s wedding date with a beautiful, also smiling fiancee is no surprise, either.
He was just so fine, he made doing fine basic. And on top of that, he smiled.
Plus he was good at super smash brothers. The only reason my princess peach is as amazing at it is, is because he and I spent probably a hundred hours playing, and he was a peach master, because owning people with a veggie throwing princess, is just funny. So Brandon.
It’s weird, when your interaction with someone can be qualified by a skill you learned just out of the way you two interacted. I mean it, I can’t play that stupid game and select that silly character without a couple synapsis flowing with an echo of “lol remember brandon?” if I’m feeling really silly, those synapsis go “Peach room 602! Represent.”
I don’t think anyone knows that, because it’s silly.
Brandon wasn’t silly.
Apparently, Brandon had an allergic reaction to an allergy shot. This put him in cardiac arrest, and then worst, and apparently it was hours until he could be connected to machines. That was too late. Days later, those machines were disconnected, and Brandon was no more.
I think he made it to 31.
Store was doing fine. Lovely wife was looking forward to wedding date.
I’m gonna quote our mutual pal’s view on it, cause I have feels and grief at this very second, but he said it right:
“Yea you figure you’re golden when you’ve got an awesome person in your life like that, then it goes away
Yeah Tom, it sure fucking does.