At The End Of The Horizon

I will meet you there ~

A. Granheim Photography 2016 Venice Beach Our Spot.

I was awake even before my phone rang. I don’t usually leave my ringer on during the night, normally my phone goes on airplane mode before my head hits the pillow. Last night was different, last night I knew better.

I sat up startled from my dream just seconds before the ringer started to blare its ugly sound, something pre programmed in my iPhone, I am too old now to care about custom ringtones. That is besides the point.

I didn’t want to hear the voice on the other end of the phone. I didn’t want to know you were gone. I wish that they would not have called me to let me know because it would have been much simpler for me to pretend you were still here, on this planet, on this earth, still breathing your raspy breaths that came from the lungs that you liked to keep the smoke in. I could have pretended that you just walked away from Los Angeles, that you hopped a train, took a car, just left. Now I can’t do that because they called to let me know they found you. Dead on Sunset Boulevard.

Can you please come down to the coroners office to identify him? Do I have to? No.

Yes, I will be there shortly. I get in the car, start the engine, let it run for 10 minutes as I sit there, eyes filled with those stupid things called tears again. Another loss, another Fall, another life gone too soon because of recklessness and carelessness. My hand puts the car in reverse, my foot hits the gas pedal, my heart hits the floor. I can’t drive.

I wake him up to drive me back to that familiar place. That cold place where they keep the bodies. Sometimes 500 at a time in a room, they call it The Cave. It is the busiest coroners office in the United States and one that I hope that I never have to be in when I leave this planet. They won’t let me in there of course, but I have to ask to see it because I know it is in there. They refuse and try to keep me focused on the task at hand. I ask to go in the room where he is laying, they tell me no, I can ID him from the glass window. Stand there and someone will raise the curtain for me from the other side. I will just need to give an audible yes or no as to if this is my friend or not.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. No NO NO NO NO NO!!! I sob as I stand there alone. My choice. I don’t like to deal with grief with others, I am better at tragedy all by myself. Just me and my dead friend. We could handle this, right?

My friend was laying there, dead. Gone. He hadn’t been gone long enough for his soul to have lifted into its new journey yet, instead it stood there with me in that hallway making sure that I remember that this was him laying there on that cold stainless steel table with just a white sheet over him. I knew it was him as soon as I saw that beautiful bleached blonde hair that he kept so perfect. I knew it was him when I saw the botox perfected forehead without a single crease in it, still perfect in the afterlife. He would have liked that.

I saw that tattoo on his chest, the one that reminded me of myself, the wings. He told me that they reminded him to fly when he felt too grounded. That he should never get too comfortable in one place, that it was ok for his feet to leave the ground. Now those feet will never touch the ground again. Instead they are decorated with a small ID tag around one toe so that once they put him in the cave they can recognize him. They would never know him by his beautiful hair. They would never know that he almost spent as much on his colorist as he did on his cocaine. Or maybe they would once the toxicology reports come back in 6–8 months.

Here we go again. This seems happens to me in the Fall. For most people the leaves fall from the trees. For me, people die. The people that I fall in love with leave me here, on this planet, in this fucking City of Angels. Maybe they take that name too seriously, maybe they didn’t realize that we need angels here on earth too. Maybe they didn’t care. Or maybe they couldn’t handle the pain, the memories, the lonesome heart that one establishes here in L.A. Maybe they were not as strong as I am, or the truth is, maybe I am just lucky.

Rest in Peace my friend as my heart is in pieces. I will miss you from the shore of our spot in Venice Beach to the vertical horizon that we created for one another. I know that life was hard for you, and you didn’t always know where you fit in, but you did always know that fitting a line in your nose made you feel like you belong. I wish that was not the case. I wish that you could have seen your beauty, the way you could light up the entire city with just the smile on your face.

Now it is over, once again I try to figure out how to deal. This revolving circle of time that hits me the hardest in the months where the leaves fall from the trees. I thought I had just started to heal from losing my best friend, cocaine took him away from me as well. The drug of choice chooses to steal the souls of the people that depend on it, the people that rage on it, the people who are lost and lonely.

It has been a long night and daylight will certainly come soon. I type these words knowing that you are in this room with me, I feel you here. I feel your soul. I guess you must have caught a ride home with me again and want to crash on my couch. I get it, I didn’t want to leave your soul there in that cold room anyways. Stay as long as you need, I’m here if you want to talk, but for now I just feel your presence chilling, wanting to relax, finally unwind. It’s ok to let go, just rise, decide if you want to jump back in or call it good. I would call it good if I were you, this will be my last time back as well. I have had enough and need to rest after this life.

I don’t know how to call your family, I don’t know where they are. This time I think I will leave it up to the authority figures to figure that out. They can call. I don’t know if I could stand to hear the heartbreak of your mother on the other end of the line this time. She was already heartbroken enough over your choices.

This time I am going to accept this with grace and hope and know that maybe it is true that you are in a better place. Sunset boulevard is a thief. It steals the hearts and souls of the people who run to it chasing their dreams, trying to live the lifestyle that they have imagined was beautiful and good, only to end up in the L.A. County Coroners office with a note in your wallet with the name of your emergency contact. Angiest. Angiest of all. Even angels fall sometimes, even you didn’t know when to say when, and here I am again left to feel all of the emotions from your bad choices.

Goodnight my friend, as the sun tries to rise and make a good day, I will meet you on the horizon, at the dock, Venice Beach ,same place as always. 
Fly free to the heavens with those wings that you were afraid of, be bold, be brave, be yourself for once, and for fucks sakes just try to be happy in the afterlife. ❤