Saturday, September 29, 2012

Friends.. life's stories

When I was 19 or so I went to my dad's townhouse in the burbs to do laundry. I had been gone for about two years and probably went back three per times year, despite living about ten miles away.

I talked to a friend who was also at his parents' house doing similar stuff. He lived a few blocks from me and we both went to Pitt. We had a few classes together. We had been friends since we were 8 or 9 years old. I would say best friends since 11 or 12 years old. By that time I was racing a ton of bmx and he started getting into it as well. Within a year of racing, he was winning the 12 year old expert field. He ended up two year streak as age group expert PA stat champion...

We hit our teenage years and dated girls who were also best friends. Lots of double dates, lots of "coupling." We continued riding together, however he was way better than me at dirt jumping. He could do BIG 360's and pretty much had no fear. I had no shortage of fear. I remember once when we were about twenty, upon meeting him a kid went "whoah... I had a photo of you on my wall growing up..." He was good.

Anyway, so we are in the burbs doing laundry and decide to go to the restaurant where we both worked as teenagers with two other good friends. Yeah we even had the same job. It was closing,so we went to a local diner, Eat n Park. The first one that we went to was SUPER crowded with teenagers on a Friday night. We left to go to another one like three miles away. Upon leaving, we were going through a traffic circle and had a weird interaction with another car. The tough guys in the car halted us by pulling in front of us and asked if we, and me in particular, had a problem. I was laughing at the situation and told the driver that yes, I had a tetanus shot the day before and I was really sore. That was my biggest problem... Ive been not funny for a long time.

So we pull out and talk about how weird that was, and how those dudes were dicks. We realized that they were following us after a couple of minutes. We continued on to the less crowded diner. Looking bag, we should have just gone to a police station, or somewhere else, but what could possibly happen.. right?

We pulled into a spot, and they pulled right up to our bumper, parking us in. We kind of collectively decided to fight them. We got out of the car and this big dude gets in my face. I remember the trial where the prosecutor asked him how much he weighed and it was something like 225 and 6'4". I was like 145 at the time. Dude is in my face and pushing me. I just kept saying "dude I am not going to fight you" like it was a mantra. I think this just made him madder. I knew this dude. He was two years younger than me in high school. The other dude in the car lived on my high school girlfriend's street.

So when the giant starts pushing me, my best friend steps between us. He was pretty strong and took the push without moving. Then the giant's friend pushes the giant away and just starts tearing at my best friend with a pretty big knife.

I dont really remember watching him getting stabbed. I do remember watching the big guy pull the stabber off. This probably saved my best friend's life. They jumped in their car and took off. My best friend was dumping blood everywhere. Like fucking everywhere. He had new shoes on and took them off, cause he didnt want to get blood on them. I dont think that he realized that he was maybe going to die. I guess he was in shock. Im not sure where everybody else in the car was at this point. My memories are super tunnel vision. We laid my best friend down and ran to find a phone... remember when there were not cell phones everywhere?

Anyway, when the paramedics said casually "we should get the helicopter"... I knew things were really bad. Anyway, this is going nowhere and is too long already, sorry. My best friend had both lungs punctured, his liver punctured and his stomach punctured. Bile went into his body and made him go septic. Like people are always like so and so "almost died" or "it was on the verge of death" ... but yeah I think he was. He lived. He spent a month or so in the hospital. He had to drop out of college, etc. There was a long shitty trial where the kid delayed the inevitable by like a year with bullshit lawyer stuff.

Like I said, this isnt really going anywhere, but was something I have been thinking about lately. I remember going home and staring at my ceiling until I passed out. I remember sitting on my living room floor calling the hospital to see if he was alive the next morning. I remember thanking him when he came to in the hospital. There is no doubt that I would have fucking died. My friend totally punched the stabber a few times and was limiting the damage as it happened. I am weak. I would have been dead. My friend told me "I would do it again" while he was in the hospital. man

There are not many people like this. Even best friends.

4th grade.

My Wedding 20 years later