Friday, July 21, 2017

About Chester

It's still not sinking in.

Last night after I wrote the post I thought would be about him (and instead turned into a plea to have people reconsider suicide) I shut off the lights, the computer, and tried to not be in the same head space.

I needed to get up early with my family for breakfast. My own mental healthy and care of it has been shaky the last few weeks, so I knew this was one of those saying it without saying it moments. Inevitable as a pebble's fall from a cliff.

But I just kept hearing Chester sing. Sometimes it was Shadow of the Day.

Sometimes it was In the End.

Or Crawling.

But every time I shut my eyes, I heard him.

I didn't get to sleep until four. Not unusual but also horrible for waking up early and for being in public and for hearing a dead man's letters.

My voice broke as I drove my family to breakfast. They tried to change the subject, though, I couldn't change my mood.
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When your emotions are all fucked up and you don't know why you're angry or why you have to mess things up, the only real thing that helps is finding someone who feels the same way.

You might be fuck ups but at least you're not the only ones.

Chester. A thirteen dollar portable CD player. A playhouse built long after anyone would ever play int it. And thunderstorms.

That was how I spent my early teen years. Playing the music ridiculously loud, not caring about the lightning flashes hurrying forward.

Screaming at the top of my lungs with him. Beating things with my pillows. I felt like all that pent up energy, it could be powerful in a good way. I didn't know how yet but it made me feel like a superhero.

I was still alive. I still had a lot of life in me.
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This can't be happening. This can't be happening.

Because we grew up together. Because he put words to feelings I never could name. Because I thought that when his music got quieter, that the rage had been subdued.

Because if he's gone, who can I rage with?

He must have felt like that after Chris. But amplified and we saw how that turned out.

This can't be happening.

Because this isn't the kind of thing that happens to people we know. It happens to letters strung to foreign names on an article we gloss over waiting at stops. This is the kind of thing that happens to people who are not us.

It happens to people who didn't see the signs and couldn't have done anything anyway.
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When Robin Williams died, it was the first time a celebrity's death felt personal to me. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to see everything that I missed, because I missed so much.

I just didn't realize this would hit harder.

How do you say goodbye to someone who was so important to who you are as a person?

Chester helped me grow as a person. Chester filled the world with himself.

I haven't looked up anything about his death. Though you can't go one search in without seeing the words "hang himself."

With Robin, I wanted to know. With Chester I'm so mad. Because why do I care how he did it? He is more than the way he went out.

Some of these details, though, are pieces to a puzzle some poor distraught human is trying to solve. And so I get it in a way.

But I don't want to know anymore.

They say he didn't leave a note. Didn't his music say enough?
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Today's song is My December.

It keeps replaying for me. It keeps taking me back to my sophomore year when I first realized what I had could knock me off my feet.

I stayed what felt like days in bed. Staring at one wall.

My December was the song that set in motion a lot of horrible things for me. Because I heard it and I heard it again when some school mates were obsessed with depression-caused suicides. That was when I thought that the only way to be free was to die.
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In one of my lows, I'm starting to have the suggestive dreams. The ones that like to play with insecurities.

And in the day time I wonder if I'll ever reach his age and think I was being optimistic before. That I suffered enough and I just drop.

He was so intricately tied to my story, I never really saw it before. And to see what happened, the doubts fester and sprout from each other.

But if I can just focus on day to day, I can survive the pain. It doesn't have to be the same story forever.
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There are no words. I've been trying so hard to explain it, but there are no words to explain how much I miss him already. How I'm listening to his music now and I feel like the world is ending all over again.

His voice is so beautiful and so full of sincerity.

I'm not ready to say goodbye. I can put it off and I can just forget it on accident on purpose, but that wouldn't change the fact that he won't be around anymore.

Might as well break the bones the news didn't get to. Might as well just set everything right and let it heal.

There's no going back. There's no changing the way things turned out.

So, Chester, thank you for being my companion in my formative years. Thank you for the rage and the outlet and the sincerity. Thank you for your voice and for bringing together so many people who, without you, would have not found people like them.

I'm so sorry that we couldn't make it better for you. I really truly am but we are all so grateful to have had the time we did with you.

I love you. I'll see you.

Elie.