Just Like That
My phone rang late the other night, but I let it go to voice mail. When I checked the message the next morning, I learned a friend had died. A friend from years ago when I lived in New York City. I figured he must have had a heart attack or something. I felt sad, but having lost a friend last January, and a few friends over the years, it wasn’t too shocking. Part of getting older. People start to die. You get used to it.
The message said there was an article in the Daily News. So, I looked it up online and that’s when I learned the truth. He didn’t die. He was murdered.Stabbed to death by a man he barely knew. A man to whom he opened his home. A man in need. But the man used him. And when my friend had had enough, he asked him to leave and so the man killed him. Slit his throat and stabbed him. Just like that.
Now I am
I try not to think about it.
But I can’t stop myself. I keep thinking of my friend and how it must have felt. To be stabbed. Have your throat cut, slit. To know you are dying. And wonder how it came to this. This moment. My last. Some dumb ass mother fucker who I let into my home has just robbed me of my life with one brief movement of a knife.
Just like that.
No going back. Lying there on the floor slipping away as the blood drains out of my body.This body I took so for granted. This life I took for granted. This wonderful, amazing, beautiful gift of life.
We all die. There’s absolutely no escaping it. We deny it, push the thought into the back of our minds. Some day, in the future, far away. But one day… one day it will really be our last day. One day, that moment will come. And there we will be, slowly passing away. I have always imagined it will come as no surprise. Disease, cancer, an old body giving out, but prepared for, expected. But to have it cut short, one day, next month, next week, tomorrow, today. The false sense of security in a future date that we think will never really come. And then it does. Just like that.
Today, with a humble heart, I give thanks to the heavens for this precious gift of life. And I celebrate my friend’s life. That sweet, generous man who died for being too kind.
Rest in Peace, John Lea.