Jason had a big boomy bass voice before the other boys in our class. He had broad, strong hands -- a man's hands, even when we were in junior high -- and broad shoulders. Mandy and I teased him mercilessly. He got frustrated -- especially with Manda, whom he'd known since they were tiny -- but he liked it, too. It was a frustration that made sense to him, I think.
I always wanted to touch Dave's hair -- it was so black and shiny, and most of my other cousins were fair like me. The aunties told the story about how he'd called the judge a "jugs" when he went to get adopted into our family. It was the sort of little kid cuteness they liked. Later they brought up his music, his interest in biochemistry, with a little more hesitation. He rassled with the little cousins smaller than me, played volleyball with the bigger ones. He was always there. He wanted to show me off to the neighborhood kids for being so clever, his clever little cousin. Later I think he just wanted to see how my world went, since it was such a different world than his.
I see them all in my head, how they might have been if they'd made it this far, if it hadn't all become too much for them, if they hadn't ended their own lives. I see all sorts of different ways things could have gone -- jobs, relationships, hobbies. Things that would fit them for life, things they would discard after a week or a month or a year. All the possibilities, gone. They didn't feel like there were any. I can't agree.
One of you made a locked post tonight about how you would do it if you followed them. Thank you for making that post. I truly do appreciate it, as much as it upset me, because you gave me the chance to say something, to let you know that you mean a lot to me, that things will change -- the world is full of change. That it would hurt like hell for a lot of people if you did it, and I know because I've been there before. I've gotten that phone call before, three times before my quarter-century mark, and damned if I want to do it again. Damned if I want it to be someone closer.
If you're in that situation -- if you made that post tonight, or if you thought about it and didn't -- please give me or someone else the chance to say something. Even if it's not good enough, even if it doesn't change your mind. You're not alone, and you're not without options. Please. Keep talking.