Hello, Roy. I wanted to write you a little note a few years ago and never really got around to it – mainly because I didn’t know which words explained why I went through 180 degrees of emotional turn-around regarding the force of Roy.
It is easy to categorize you as a long-time friend of my brother’s and not concentrate on any of the jokes or thoughts we might have shared, but every once in a while I trip on something. This year it was because I slipped an old Blink CD into my car (“What’s My Age Again” is a song that made me feel young before I was 23, then old thereafter when I play it and realize it’s still a motto) and could not separate the sound from the passion you had during their Enema era; you proclaimed fanatical devotion like the best big-hearted listeners do.
In a snowball effect, one association leads to another and before I know it there is an uncomfortable reminder of Roy that I have learned to shake off and get over. It briefly feels like mourning before it ends in an angry, “Fuck that kid.”
I think it will help me to know that I sent you a letter and actually said some of the things that always kind of swirled around but were never expressed or even understood by me. Maybe I’m a broken record; maybe it’s not news to you. But here it is.
Christopher always had time before graduation. Time to figure things out, hatch a plan, get his shit together – and then suddenly those hopes were gone with the accident. Suddenly there wasn’t going to be any more school and it was the first real sign that there was trouble, that the picture wasn’t going to look exactly normal or work itself out traditionally.
Then there was the painful process of getting his brain back. When he was coming around, so were the friends who took advantage of his parents’ lenient household for all those years when it was “still okay”. I used to steal money from a drawer in the kitchen that my parents cashed their checks and simply slid all of those 20’s into. I don’t know if you remember but there was a time when neither one of us were suspect to open that drawer. Eventually, I did it for my friends and Chris did it for you.
It didn’t matter because it was still innocent. We were still kids and we just wanted a little something.
Everything escalated to the worst imaginable scenario the moment Chris got some of his own money. There were no more rules.
For you, for Nikki, for Brandon, for Mitch, for *ANY* goddamn low life you introduced, to use my brother by bargaining with him in *ANY* way was unforgivable. You knew years ago that something was wrong if an invalid, hermit young adult was obsessed with murdering mass society and treated marijuana like it was heroin. You KNEW of his many personal problems and you acted as an enabler.
I never understood why. Chris got sick, Roy. Real fucking seriously sick and everyone just showed up to the stress unit and laughed like it was a silly little speed bump. He spent thousands and thousands of dollars on air rifles, shitty fireworks and game consoles that he ended up turning around and pawning off to the same people who suggested he buy all that shit. Mitch soaked it all up and the rest of you just shrugged, glad that at least it was fun while it lasted.
You did nothing. You did everything. And then the crew of you – who were all he had and ever knew – all disappeared. You teach him terrible lessons that he never learns because HE DOESN’T MOVE FREELY LIKE YOU DO; HE NEEDS HELP.
YOU’RE NOT HELPING HIM. You’re not helping him when you aid him in spending his money in any non-productive way. You’re not helping when you gather wood that will burn out quicker than his dreams. You’re not helping when you tell him over the phone that you’ll be over and then make him wait the entire day and never show up.
Roy could have helped. Couldn’t he have? Fuck, maybe I never knew that kid. I mean it was a long time ago and he was young. And now he’s going to be a dad? You, Roy?
Is that you? Who do I think I’m writing to? I must sound like such a jackass.
And just as my thoughts always go back to square one when it comes to the Disconnection Of You from my life… I have