That's a truth so real to me, I can taste it.
I must have a handful of posts about this kid by now, but I can't help it. There's nothing like looking at a huge piece of you inside a wooden box, knowing it's the end.
It's another thing to look at a box, with a name plate, knowing that inside holds the ashes of all your memories. The ashes of so many things - hope, love, friendship... Faith, peace and what once was a walking, talking escape from every nasty thing in this world.
The man above was my best friend. If you didn't know that, welcome to my blog.
Tonight, I was sifting through my Pandora and 'Soul Meets Body' came on. I started crying. That was one of Kyles favorite songs. We would listen to it on our random road trips. Destination always unknown.
Suicide. What a bitch.
I never thought in a million years it would take someone so close to me.
I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy.
That was Kyle's 'I'm Pooping' face. Yes, that's my Kyle. All black everything. Kind, compassionate, considerate. Always doing something meaningful - reading a book, of watching awesome documentaries. He was so fucking smart. You should read some of his screen plays. His scripts were like no other. Only one I've ever read that's come close was 'Stoker'.
I've never felt more alone in the world until Kyle died. Even if we weren't talking, even if we were going thru our own things... My other half was somewhere in this world.
I really had to figure out... How to be alone? I'm still figuring it out. I wrote a post kind of like that, that topic. I can be alone, that's not what I mean... But, you know how usually there's always someone out there that gets you? That knows you? That you know even at your worst you could call them, even if you didn't want to, they were there?
Eh, not anymore.
I always figured, too, that Kyle and I would eventually get together. Eventually. After our careers were set in this fantastic film industry - after he got over his new drug habit - after he found out who he was and worked through depression... We would.
I never gave a second thought to who I'd be with. I just figured it would be him.
He was the kind of guy I've always wanted, looked for. Tall, sensitive, smart - really smart, spoke well and could have deep intellectual conversations, fun and funny, can cook, clean, isn't about all that stupid 'man-code' crap, loved The Notebook, loved romance, read books - usually by himself writing scripts, loved all kinds of music - mostly stuff that wasn't the 'manliest'. Loved driving, loved taking walks for no reason, loved animals, was a total nerd at heart. Loved video games, comic books, had 0 'game', wasn't afraid to say a man was attractive... The kind of guy every girl says she wants before settling with an abusive 'bro' who slams beers at the bar, hangs out at strip clubs and views woman solely as 'sexual objects'.
Kyle would still defend and protect me. I think I was the only one. I would do the same for him. It was really cool, we were each balanced equally as far as our masculine/feminine sides. That's probably why he had a 'sexual identity crisis' when he was younger. Later, he found out he wasn't gay, he just wasn't 'a bro'.
I'm pretty positive the guy the angels do set me up with will be pretty much like Kyle. I know it because it's what fits best with me, and I won't settle for anything less. Fairly impossible to find in the film industry, but I'll hold out for it. I won't settle. Kyle wouldn't want me to, either.
Kyle was a man unlike one I'd ever met in so many ways. I had no idea that I should appreciate how well he interacted with me until he was gone. He really honored me and let me be me in ways I didn't realize.
I am a very independent, strong, loud, powerful human being. At the same time, I can be just like him. It's a mix of a person that I've heard time and time again, when people talk to me and get to know me, "You're the most interesting person I've ever met." Kyle let me be powerful. He let me be smart. He let me be loud, and honest. He let me be a strong, powerful woman... Since him, I've been met with so so many whose first task is to attempt to squash that right out of me.
I remember Kyle and I took a law class. We were both doing the mock trial of that woman who was murdered by her husband, Laci Peterson. Kyle was always defense, I was always prosecution.
Kyle and I got to go up against each other, head to head, in the Laci Peterson mock trial.
Oh it was on.
We took the allotted 2 weeks prep and worked our asses off. When it came down to it, we stunned the classroom. I won, and Kyle took it like a champ.
In fact, Kyle and I were the only ones approached privately by our teacher and given the tip to go into law professionally. For real.
We were dynamic
That's a part of the whole, 'Opposites attract' thing, I think. Not that you are total and polar opposites... It's always been another requirement of mine that whoever I'm with is in the industry. Or at least working their ass off to try and be. Goals mean a lot, and Kyle and I had the same goals. We were going to work together and take over the industry!
I don't think he believed in himself that much. In fact, I know he didn't. But it's a common goal, a common ground, that we both had. A passion to continue to work towards.
Sorry, I have angry tics...
... So we weren't polar opposites, you know? I was the fighter, the one on the front lines defending anything and everything that came our way. He was the one picking me up, talking through my thoughts and feelings with me, making sure I could keep fighting.
Once, I called him on my way home from college - as I always did. There were some assholes trailing me, and they were right on my ass. If I'd have braked, they'd be in my passenger seat.
"Come over, bring them over here."
"...Kyle, what the hell..."
"April, just come over. I'm waiting."
Well okay then.
So I did, I drove straight to his house - which I was passing anyways. They followed basically the whole way until I turned onto his street. I park, get out, and there's Kyle. Sitting on the trunk of his car with two guns - prop guns - beside him, smoking a cigarette.
Out runs Kyles Mom, phone in hand.
"Where are they?!"
"They're gone. They turned around when I pulled in."
"I was ready to call the police! Thank god!"
Inside she goes.
"Awh, I'm touched."
Kyle flicked his cigarette into the distance. "Why?"
"You were all ready to defend me."
He shrugged. "I'm not just gonna let some assholes trail you."
Kyle had never done anything like that before for me. I was, truly, deeply touched. It had usually been me cornering the jocks in school that called him a faggot and threatening them with graphic threats... Or shoving them into lockers... Or throwing things at them, when they'd do it to Kyle.
This, this was new. And it continued.
One of his best friends, who had gotten him into the nasty habit that I believe attributed to his suicide, was trying to secretly drug me.
Kyle called me on my birthday and warned me, "...He's gonna give you something, do not take it, April. Do. Not. Take. It. He put a ton of shit in it to see what happens to you."
I told his Mom, and I called said friend and cursed him out nice and good. Kyle got the 'narc' label for awhile, but he didn't care. He wasn't about to let that shit happen to me, and I was eternally grateful. Furthermore, people knew not to dare call him anything less than amazing in my presence.
It was one of those, "I can call him an asshole, but if YOU say it - you lose all your teeth." Kinda relationships.
I remember one particular night, well past 3a, my phone rang:
We would always meet with people, usually other friends of mine - the loner he was - at Denny's. He always ordered a cherry coke, and either nachos - or we'd split those cheesy fries.
The first (of two, and no more) Black Friday's I ever attended was with Kyle. He wanted slippers and a robe, so his Mom agreed to let him take her credit card as long as I went with. Make sure he didn't get a butt load of crap he didn't need.
That always made me happy. Always made me feel good - how welcomed I was in their family. Most other parents told other parents, and other kids, I was a, "Bad influence." I was some horrible kid, a whore, an alcoholic. I was always in trouble, and let's face it - I've had D boobs my whole life. Makeup, nails, hair, partying like I had just before I really met Kyle... There was judgement. No one really liked or welcomed me. Even in my own home.
They did. Kyle, his parents, his sister... That always meant the world to me. Still does. Kyles suicide hasn't changed anything between any of us.
I love them. So much.
I remember after Kyle died. His Mom (who I call 'Mom', so it's continued..) and I were sitting outside looking at the stars. She started crying, rightfully so, and talking about so many painful things. "I'll never get to see him get married. I'll never get to see him on the red carpet, or at a film premiere of his. I'll never get to see his children, my grandchildren..."
Then she looked at me and said, "I always wanted it to be you, April. I hoped and prayed you two would get together. I wanted you to officially be in this family."
What else can I say? That's another thing this whole suicide taught me... Pain. Other people's pain. How do you help a parent, someone you also think of as a parent, mourn not only their only son - but their dreams for their son?
One thing that really fucking pissed me off... When Kyle killed himself, I had a surprising amount of people ask me, "Oh, was it because he was gay?"
... What the fuck?! No!
Did Kyle go through a period of questioning that about himself? Yes. Why? He wasn't a bro. He. Was. Not. A. Bro. He was a real man, as far as I'm concerned. He would rather be in a library than a bar. He was quiet, and when he did speak he was always well spoken and a thousand times smarter than everyone else. He read actual books, not Playboys. He would rather be at the beach watching the sunrise or set than be at a strip club (he never went, he said it was a 'degrading representation of the male species in it's relation to women'). He would rather be watching a historical documentary than a football game... So, since all of that is somehow 'gay', he got pegged. His whole fucking life. Even with me, hanging on him like I did - or being everywhere with him... Didn't help. It sure stopped any comments, but they didn't stop thinking it.
God only knows what would have happened to him in this industry. Geeezus - I hadn't thought about that until right now. My lord. Poor kid would have been a target for everything.
He wasn't without growing up to do, of course. He did a fair amount after high school, but I couldn't be with him everywhere. People still picked on him, took advantage of his kindness - always willing to buy someone something, or drive someone somewhere. I've seen him be taken advantage of a thousand times, and as many times as I tried to tell him about it - he never saw it.
I tried to tell him that everyone wasn't a good person... That sometimes, people take advantage of you... And he would say, "That's not very positive."
I think, deep down, it was a weird way to get friends. That always broke my heart.
If he'd have only stayed around long enough to meet Jared, or get a chance to recover and work on sets with me.
"April..." He sounded very sad, lost, drained, hopeless.
"What happened? What's wrong?"
"Uhm... Can I come over?"
I shot out of bed, "Yeah, absolutely. Of course you can."
"See ya soon."
He hung up, and I was outside waiting for him in no time. I set up the porch - chairs, drinks, ashtray, snacks... This was gonna be an all nighter.
He pulled up, got out, and wouldn't say a word. Walked up on the porch, sat down, and went to open his pop.
I stood up, and held out my arms.
He raised an eyebrow.
"Hug me, damnit."
He sighed, stood, and hugged me. A second longer than all the other times I forced him to hug me. Gentler, and sad.
"Are you okay?" I asked into the black t-shirt he was wearing.
It felt like forever, but he murmured, "No."
We sat down, and began talking. He was googling suicide, depression, thinking about cutting again, writing depressing shit... Really depressed and suicidal.
We talked and talked and talked. He said he'd been having really horrible dreams, like night terrors, and didn't want to talk to anyone else. We talked about suicide, when I attempted mine, and how I was getting through it. He was always open to talking about my struggles, but oddly and slyly uncomfortable.
We talked for a couple hours, went inside, laid down and watched TV for a bit - just enough time to uplift him and send him home.
He was walking to his car when he didn't even bother looking back at me to say, "See you later?"
"Later is a couple of hours."
He got in his car, and rolled down the window. "So, later?"
My best friend.
I have a DVD copy of his funeral. I was going to screenshot it and post it here for a couple reasons:
A) So you know it's real.
B) To see what suicide really looks like.
It's not what people think it is. It isn't the pretty pictures and happy painless thoughts - no. Suicide is murdering a good handful of people, outside of yourself. Suicide is killing the souls and lives of people you don't even know.
You're just lucky that DVD is at the bottom of a DVD box on a shelf I can't reach at the moment.
I miss Kyle. I miss everything about him. I miss that I'll never be able to do that with him again. I know he's helping me, I know he's setting people in my life - I know he'll send me someone to be there for me like he was. Man, woman, romance, friendship - no clue. But I'll wait with faith.
My heart still breaks when I think of him. When I think of all the things we did, the memories I have... The fact that my pain will never even come close to the pain still carried by his family, the other people who mean the most to me in this world.
I know when Kyles around. He kisses my cheek, he holds my hand, he makes sure I get to sleep okay, he's working behind the scenes with the business... He'll be the first spirit the man I do end up with sees. He'll be one of the main reasons I work for so many other people - for so long.
I've never had a friend like Kyle. I miss him, so much. Every day.
I close with a song that has me in tears every time. I remember I heard this shuffling around Pandora after his funeral, and I lost my fucking marbles.
Pink, 'Who Knew'
Here's a song that Kyle put on my 20th, I think, birthday CD. It was our song, officially.
Death Cab for Cutie, 'I'll follow you into the dark'
Finally, the song I heard RIGHT after he killed himself that best explains our relationship - especially, the whole 'space/moon' thing. Kyle included that in his note above, and it was something we loved looking at at night.
We didn't trust people, we didn't just be the way we were with each other with just anybody. We wouldn't let each other go, we wouldn't let each other fail, we would hold each other accountable...
...and I would have done anything, anything in this world for him.
Eminem, 'Space Bound'
I love you, Kyle.
When I said you'd be my best friend until the day I died... I meant that shit. I'll always have your back, I'll always work just as hard for your memory as you are for me. I'll still be your ride or die, and I'll do everything I can to somehow breathe your spirit and your dreams back into your broken family.
You showed me a life, a friendship, I never knew existed. I am honored to have known you - and to have been allowed to be the huge part in your story, just like you will forever be in mine.
I wish you were here.
...I love you. So much.