Subject: [Insert 30 seconds of thinking up a vapid subject line.]
It's amazing how quickly, and drastically, life changes — however cliche that may sound. At 7:14 a.m. yesterday, I was complaining about the alarm and wishing I could go back to hibernation. At 7:15, my girlfriend's phone rang. I ran outside to start her car, freezing my ass off in the seemingly sub-zero temperatures.
By 7:16, I was hit with the news that one of my best friends from high school had passed away in his sleep. I told my girlfriend I didn't want to hear it, and I went back to sleep, or tried, at least. "Spencer, Dustin died." It kept resonating through my head, and I didn't know how to make it stop.
I had to drive home in my Jeep, which is without a radio. I would've turned it off if I had one anyway. Somehow the silence was pleasantly unbearable. I looked to my right and saw Dustin, laughing uncontrollably, mouthing out the words to his favorite rap song. Hell, he was even dancing like a maniac, singing "I don't fight, I don't argue/I just hit that bitch with a bottle." It's funny. I begin laughing, and then I stop myself. It's not real. It's not funny. I immediately call people I'm sure haven't heard the news yet. No one's answering their phones. It's before 8 a.m. on a Monday. What was I thinking?
I start getting inundated with phone calls from concerned friends. I inform the uninformed and solace the ones who knew. They try to do the same for me. They knew I was close to him. I was. He was like my older little brother. But I don't wanna hear it. I want to hear silence. Then, I want to hear Dustin's poor excuse for rapping/singing. Nah, I want silence.
I start revisiting the times we had together. Damn, I'm surprised he or I didn't die already. Too much coke. Too much ecstasy. Too many Vicodin. Too much vodka. But too much was just enough.
I begin to get angry. He wasn't supposed to die. He was supposed to overdose and survive, then promise to never do drugs again. "It was his time to go," one friend from Fayetteville says. "Fuck you," I say. "It wasn't his time to go." I feel bad, but, then, I don't. It doesn't comfort me one bit for someone to say they're going to pray for me, or to tell me that it was part of God's plan. The audacity of these fucking people — however benevolent their intentions may be — amazes me.
Dustin's dead, I say. He's not "in a better place." He's not playing golf with Jesus. Why pad your emotions with something you don't wholeheartedly believe? It's a fucking cop-out. That's why. Life kicks you in the balls every now and then. What the fuck are you gonna do about it?
What you should do is remember him for the person he was, and nothing more. He was a good kid. He had more courage than anyone I've ever met. He had the mouth and alcohol-consumption capacity of a sailor. He was a motherfucker wasn't he? He could make anyone laugh. And, boy, don't talk about his mom.
Dustin, Dirty D, "Daddy" as he called himself, will be missed. But I will fucking lose it if one of these goddamn holier-than-thou ministers has an alter call at his funeral — like they have at other funerals I've attended.
That's all I gots ta say.