Hello everyone, I’ve been very distant and uninvolved in The Married Barista recently. The months of September and October were some of the most difficult ones A and I have faced. I’ll give you a quick little run down.
Puerto Rico, where A’s family is from was seemingly preparing for a head-on collision from Hurricane Irma. Luckily Irma side-swiped the island and left it mostly unharmed. Later in the week after Irma had passed we received a text from A’s grandmother, telling us to pray because they were preparing for another Hurricane to hit the island. This Hurricane, Maria, did not miss the Island.
Puerto Rico took a direct hit. Losing all of its power roads became impassable, clean drinking water and food were scarce, and worst of all, all forms of communication were lost. News reports told of the destruction and devastation, prayers continued for days. There was no communication from anyone.
Cell phone reception became spotty in areas, and eventually, someone got through to another family member on the Island and were able to send them in search of A’s grandparents. They were alive; their property was almost entirely unharmed. Our prayers had been answered.
Her grandmother had a slight health scare but other than that everyone was okay. So in short, a hurricane hit the island, and we had no communication with any family members for a week and a half or so. A was not doing super well with not knowing what was going to happen or if people were alive. It was a rough few weeks.
Soon after contact was made with family on the island and the events of Hurricane Maria calmed a bit in our house, I (B), received a Facebook message from a high school classmate telling me that a friend of mine, Jimmy, had passed away.
I was in shock.
Jimmy was a good man. He was a bit of a character and marched to his own tune but that’s what made him who he was.
Jimmy and I became friends my junior year in high school, and it all started with a fist.
It was our junior homecoming; everything was going well, and people were having fun – ya know, a high school dance. After the dance, someone was having an after party at their house. My date ended up hitting on one of the other guys at the party, and it frustrated me, so I tried to tell her it was time to leave. Jimmy was the other guy’s wing-man, and decided to put me in a headlock. I broke the headlock and put Jimmy in a headlock, which resulted in Jimmy punching me over his shoulder – giving me a bloody nose.
I was PISSED.
I was so mad, but this house had so many breakable things right where all this happened, so I just walked away.
A few weeks after that I think Jimmy and I just started talking, and then during our senior year we could leave for lunch, and Jimmy worked at my favorite restaurant, Big City Burrito, so at least twice a week we got that for lunch.
After graduation, everyone went their separate ways. I went to one school, and Jimmy to another. After our freshman year in college, Jimmy moved back home – it was like, early September or something. I had just started leasing an apartment with a friend at the beginning of July, and Jimmy began to come over to hang out almost daily. He wanted to move in, but there was already two dudes in a one bedroom apartment. I mean my bed was pretty much the living room sofa.
Jimmy’s mom saw that Jimmy wanted to live with us, so his parents offered to buy a house for us all to live in if my roommate and I would end our lease and move in. We both agreed in no time – it’s a house! So in October of 2011, the three of us moved into the house. Eventually, we got one other guy to move in with us. It was great, four friends living in this four bedroom house, right next to a park, with a backyard and garage. That was the life!
And Jimmy made it possible.
I lived in that house with Jimmy for about two years. There were some great times and some not so great; you know how life goes. We all turned 21 in that house, so we learned about alcohol and what everyone’s favorite drinks were. We found out that Jimmy could play Skyrim for days with no sleep – those dragons, man -and that he wasn’t afraid to shoot a squirrel from our kitchen window with a pellet gun (and then secretly serve squirrel chili to all the roommates).
Those were a few fun years of my life. Then I moved out.
After I moved out, I kind of lost touch with Jimmy; I lost touch with a lot of those guys. I wanted to be by myself. I guess I didn’t really want it, but more felt like it was needed for me to grow. It happened by accident really, but it helped me grow into the person I am today.
Losing touch is one of my regrets. The last time I saw Jimmy before his passing was at a liquor store he worked at. He looked the same, had the same hearty throaty laugh that is exclusively Jimmy’s; he grinned the same – he seemed happy. He told me about his plans to soon move to Wyoming where he would be able to put his degree to use! It is a good memory, one of the many I have of this man that left us way too soon.
Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling how I do about all of this. I’ve been a skeleton of myself since it happened just over a month ago. I know I haven’t felt the emotions I think I need to feel to grieve fully.
Anger, sadness, laughing hysterically because you’re SO ANGRY AND SAD.
I haven’t done that, because of guilt.
I haven’t done that because it doesn’t seem possible that Jimmy is actually gone.
Like no way is this man not around. He has to be. It’s confusing and frustrating; every single thing I do brings back memories of him. From driving down 25th street, to seeing a bottle of Maker’s Mark, to anything. I didn’t know it was possible to associate so many things with one single person.
An entire month later and I still am having trouble, and I hadn’t even talked to him in months! But it brings everything into perspective – love, life, family, friends, staying in touch, offering an outlet if it’s ever needed (no matter the time of day).
If you need to talk, or if you’re feeling a little down, just call. I will answer, I will be there for you. I’m here for you. Don’t be afraid to wake me up, or piss me off.
Jimmy, my friend, rest in peace. You are missed more than I think you ever could’ve imagined. Love you man.