Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Last night I got a call at three in the morning from Regina, my ex-girlfriend and best friend. Her father had died several hours earlier, and she was at his house, the house where she and I lived during our undergrad years together. I drove out to see her and we sat in his room on his bed and reminisced about him together. Her father, to many people, would probably seem like a strange man. I know he did to me at first. He lived in a house that, in recent years, should have been condemned. He gave the shirt off his back to people, strangers, even though he had nothing. He'd let crazy kids like me stay with him when they needed a new home for a while. He was a Vietnam veteran with so many health problems, and our own country, and its promise to take care of its veterans, never came through for him. Only gave him the runaround any time he tried to get help from them. He was someone absolutely anyone would have passed in the street and not seen. He was an invisible person in society, but one of the best people I've ever had the chance to know. Most often, I've found, the best people in the world are the ones that no one sees for various reasons. He was 56 years old. He died of a massive heart attack. I feel like something inside me has just torn in two, something that was already broken and that I've been working for the past few years to mend. I feel like screaming in the faces of people because they aren't him, or aren't one of the lost children who knew him and loved him. I wouldn't write about this on such a public place like an online journal usually, but I want to show him to the world for some reason, probably because the world never looked at him before. Or other people like him. I don't even know what I'm writing anymore, or why, but this was him. We had many names for him, lots of affectionate nicknames, but now I can only think of him as Bobby D, which is what his friends from when he was a boy called him. Many people told him throughout his life that he would have to grow up someday, and he always said he wouldn't let the world do that to him, that it wouldn't beat him. A few days before he died, he told his daughter--with that in mind--that he'd won. And you know, I can't help but feel that he did. He won.

6 Comments:

Blogger Karen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Elad said...

My condolences to Regina and you, Chris. I'm so sorry.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trin. What beautiful words. I love you so much and wish I didn't always live so far away...bless you for being there for Regina.

a.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

Thanks guys. I appreciate it.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

(By the way, I didn't mean to remove my post. Guess I know now what that little icon does.)

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, chris. how sad. i'm sorry to hear of this loss, for you and regina. that's a lot of sadness to hit at such a turbulent time...well, at any time. i'm glad, though, that you were lucky enough to share so much time and soul with such an incredible person. he'll always live on through you.

brooke

11:25 PM  

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