How quickly things turn

The night I met him, he was going on a second date with a Tinder hook up. He’d just moved out of a house he’d shared with his fiancée, who’d broken his heart. We met in his studio apartment downtown. It had a Murphy bed like something out of 1950’s New York.

His face was deceiving. It gave away nothing of his thirty years and instead only led one to believe that he was young and innocent…or an actual Campbell’s Soup kid. And then he passed me a business card. It was made out of aluminum and obviously used to cut coke.

I’d met this kid through a guy I hung out with. He was funny and brilliant, but honestly, he was one of those nice guys who you knew you’d never lust after. But he was fun and so were his friends, so I hung around. At least until I realized that I was using a guy who really liked me just to have experiences like raves (overrated) and karaoke on Christmas at the Golden Nugget (marred by George Michael’s untimely passing). I remember I ordered pizza to be delivered to the bar and everyone thought it was a brilliant idea, when really it was just self-preservation.

So…year went by and I didn’t think of my friend, or his baby faced buddy. And then Baby Face started writing to me on Facebook Messenger. He wanted to go out for a beer. I was in Mexico but I said I’d hit him up when I was back. I didn’t know why he wanted to meet with me specifically, but I try to be friendly (in a town where people are not).

When I got back home, however, I got the flu, and pneumonia, and some sort of rash and my parents brought me home and took care of me. Baby Face kept talking to me though. He’d been through a breakup with the girl I’d met the night he and I’d met. He didn’t want to talk about it too much.

Finally, I got back to Tucson and hit him up. He said sure, but he had some plans first. And I never heard from him so I just let it slide.

And then a month went by and I hadn’t heard from him, so I checked his Facebook page. He was dead. I Googled his name in hopes of an obituary, but instead found newspaper accounts of his murder…at the hands of his girlfriend’s brother.

The details are unimportant. But I was so angry. For a guy I barely knew. I talked to his friend…the one I had no chemistry with…and he was confused why Baby Face had been contacting me. Back in the day, I learned, Baby Face was always trying to get my friend to let me go. That I was bad for him. While at the same time, Baby Face was hitting me up anytime he saw me out in public (which was a lot because Tucson).

My friend said he thought Baby Face was contacting me because he needed someone to pull him away from the dysfunctional life he was living. So he reached out to me. Me. I’ve never been accused of being stable.

We never got our drink. He never got the chance to set his life straight. Or see 35. And that’s when life starts getting really interesting. So, I pour some out for my homie, and try to remember, I may not be the best person to ask for help from, but my door is always open and the light is always on. You are welcome here.

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