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September 13, 2011

I didn’t plan on it, but I ended up getting a 40 of Mickey’s from the party store and reminiscing about all the crazy shit Bobby and I used to do together. In the last eight years or so, we kind of lost touch and weren’t nearly as close as we used to be; but we were pretty tight back in the day. When I first met Bobby, I was a geeky little kid who just moved to Warren from Detroit that was into things like Nintendo and comic books. Next thing you know, Bobby and I are cruising around in his Camaro with a case full of 40s in the backseat, the radio so loud the subwoofers in the trunk made my heart skip.

I remember countless nights across the street, watching crazy-ass movies and drinking the night away. I remember wandering around the neighborhood one Halloween, trick-or-treating with pillow cases full of beer, and then going behind the school to eat all our candy and get thoroughly shitfaced. I remember him getting me drunk and sneaking me into an 18+ screening of Faces of Death when I was probably only fifteen or sixteen, feeling sick because of all the fried mushrooms I’d eaten from Chicken Shack right before we left. I remember the store in the D where we used to be able to buy liquor when he was barely eighteen, and then heading back to his house to get completely trashed, or just sitting in his car watching the snowflakes build up on his windshield. I remember doing things so illegal I can’t even mention them.

I remember that, even despite our different lifestyles and personalities, we were still friends, and he never did me wrong. At least, nothing that I’m aware of. And even if he did, he was one of my first friends in Warren; and for a long time, one of the best. We caused a lot of trouble together, and I’m sad that we eventually lost touch. He was such a big part of my life, and I hardly realized it until he was gone. Funny how that kind of shit happens.

I remember the scorpion he used to have and how he loved showing that fucking thing off. I remember sneaking over late at night to drink and hiding our 40s behind the couch while we drank them so Ressie couldn’t see them, thinking we were so slick even though she probably knew exactly what the hell we were doing. I remember going to his wedding. I sort of remember the reception. I remember how often my brother, Gary, and I went over to hang out with Bobby and Tonya. I remember how pissed Tonya would get when he drank too much. I remember when he got that tattoo on his leg from the Necronomicon. I remember how jealous I was. I remember incredible Fourth of Julys.

I remember all these things and more because Bobby was such a big part of my life, even if I never noticed just how much at the time. Sure, Bobby wasn’t perfect, and he could be a real asshole at times; but who isn’t? And despite all the things about him that I didn’t like, I wouldn’t be the person I am now if it wasn’t for him. I never would have had all those crazy experiences that helped make me into ‘a man,’ or at least a properly maladjusted teenager. For all of his flaws, Bobby was my friend, and his family was like my family: his younger brother, Anthony, and I once managed to convince a lady truck driver to meet us when we were barely passed puberty; while his older brother, John, constantly fucked with me about my long hair, telling me to “get a fucking haircut” every time he saw me.

More than anything, though, I remember the fact that Bobby didn’t really fuck with me as much as he did everyone else. He could be a real shithead sometimes. I never knew him to hesitate when he saw an opening to rip on someone, and he was always playing mean-ass pranks. But he always seemed to go easy on me. I could never figure out why. Maybe it’s just because he felt sorry for me, but I like to think there was more to it than that, that we were truly friends or something. Fuck. I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that his mother, Sandy, is gone, let alone the fact that he’s gone too—and within just two days of each other. It just doesn’t seem real. I feel like I owe him a debt that I can never repay now; but at least through his family and people like me, his memory will live on.


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