On Thursday I got an email from a client who I haven’t heard from since the very beginning of the COVID outbreak. This is not unusual. This is the type of client where months can go by without any work from them.
She started her email, “The world has shifted yet again since we were last in touch. She was, of course, referencing the Minneapolis Uprising calling for the abolition of the police.
And here I am on a Sunday evening and the world has shifted yet again since I got her email.
Last night we found out one of Sister #2’s high school best friends died suddenly in his sleep. Or at least that’s what the Chi-High rumor mill has churned out. He’d suffered myriad health problems since an accident left him paralyzed some years ago.
I am stunned at my grief over his death. I don’t think I’ve seen Burgerboy in twenty years? Maybe more? But there was a time in the early and mid-90s where that kid, and he’ll always be an eighteen-year-old kid to me, was a nearly daily part of my life. Hell, we even worked together that summer I worked at the factory.
“He was super annoying, hilarious, and secretly kind.” That’s what my sister wrote about him, and it’s a sentence that so perfectly sums up Burgerboy I wish I wrote it.
My brain has been an emotional landmine today, finding all kinds of memories of Burgerboy buried deep in my memory that blow up my heart and bring tears to my eyes. I remember how he was a willing subject skating (on his skateboard) past me over and over again so I could get different action shots for a photography class. This was in the early spring, still mostly winter in Wisconsin. I remember him pestering me to go buy him a forty at the liquor store that never carded me because I was a 6’5″ 20-year-old. But mostly I remember him teasing me or arguing with me mercilessly about who knows what, and just when I was about to either hit him or cry, he’d break into this adorable, crooked smile that would make you want to hit him even harder because that fucking smile worked every god damn time he cracked it.
This is one of those days where I’m astounded by how many ways a heart can break.