Then, the next day, things got weird. I don't know why I'm surprised, things always get weird around here sooner or later. Have you guys ever known somebody whose birthday was right around Christmas? And they always had people buying them gifts and saying, "Now, this half is for Christmas, and this half is for your birthday" and stuff like that? I did. I had a boyfriend (no, really, I did once; high school and early college) named Noah. His birthday was the day after Christmas. I used to joke that since his birthday was on Boxing Day I should take him to a boxing match. I don't think he ever thought that was funny. But anyway. For reasons on which I am unclear, I Googled him yesterday, to see if he was on FaceSpace or MyBook or whatever and maybe told us what he was up to on his birthday. Was I ever surprised to discover that he wasn't up to anything on his birthday because he was dead.
No doubt, I had the right guy. His first name is Noah, which is not exactly common, and his last name isn't exactly common either, though I'm not going to list it here. The birth date was right and the middle name was right. He died in October. I sat here and blinked a lot. I mean, hello. People aren't supposed to die at the age of almost-45. Particularly without explanation (all I could find was a mention in the Arizona Republic obituaries and the Social Security death registry). There was no mention of a funeral home or a burial site, no listing of "the deceased is survived by." It was about the loneliest obituary I've ever seen. This morning there were two notations in the guest book, left by me and a mutual friend that I emailed with the news yesterday. That's it. That's all. The rest is a mystery.
I might add, we didn't break up under the most pleasant of circumstances. Our relationship was stormy, with frequent fights (some physical) and even a call to the cops one time, courtesy of my neighbor. (Thank you, neighbor.) He was both mentally ill (I know, I know; I see untreated bipolar disorder in everybody--but I think he really did have it) and physically not-well, and he was in the process of flushing his entire life down a large toilet when I decided not to see where all this was going to end and left. He maintained for some time afterward that I left him for a woman, which was partially true but had the unfortunate effect of making it look like he drove me to become a lesbian. (Yep, he drove me and dropped me off. I told him I'd call when I was ready to be picked up. I haven't called yet.) So, this thing about him being dead is a little weird. I'm not sad. In a way I'm kind of relieved. He's probably a lot happier, wherever he is now. (Hopefully not haunting the ASU Library looking for books on art history, critique and semiotics. In all seriousness, you librarians over there at Arizona State may want to have an exorcism.)
What is sad, is adding another name to my list of dead friends. I'm not even very old and there's already quite a few. I don't know if 1987 was just a particularly dangerous year to graduate from high school, or if my generation is just monumentally unlucky. Brain aneurysms, car accidents, "unknown causes" and suicides. Maybe we're cursed.
Or maybe that's just the way baseball go.