With the residue of Robin William's death still on my mind, I drove by this old movie theater this morning, the cheap movie place, and it reminded me. A bunch of bunch of years ago, this same theater. Rainy summer night. Went to a movie with my suicidal, bipolar friend, as well as a group of others from our church singles group. It was some kind of action movie with some emotional parts in it. Apparently something in the movie struck a chord... (and no pun intended, but btw he was also an artist, a bass player, played in a worship band, also loved cranking up smooth jazz and gospel music in his Washington-plated car..) Something broke inside him as we were walking out with the crowds towards the parking lot that rainy night. He broke into a torrent of sobs, couldn't go on. We stopped beneath a tree while the rain poured down, on the trees as well, as his tears drenched my shoulder. It was the oddest kind of embarrassment, as people awkwardly walked around us, just standing there for what felt like hours, him sobbing like a baby, unabashedly, this grown man, bawling his eyes out. yet I couldn't pull myself out of his grip, so at a loss for what to do, yet a part of me could understand completely. no words.
Fast-forward to about a year later. Our relationship had ended awhile back, when he wisely realized that he was in an unhealthy place and shouldn't be dragging me along, so he let me go. So we meet again at this worship concert. Between sets he comes right up to me, completely ignoring the person i was with, (which annoyed this person as he doesn't like to go impolitely unnoticed), he skips the small talk and just gazes at me like I'm a ghost. It's like he's looking right through me, as if he had already left this earth and was looking at me from a spiritual place. And he keeps telling me that I'm his little angel, I'm his angel. And it's another horrendously awkward moment as my un-addressed, completely ignored date looks on, frustrated by this guy standing here just gushing about me being an angel, which must not have made any sense, it didn't even register to me until weeks later, after his tragic death.
It was then, after his suicide, that I pondered these outpourings and realized that maybe, just maybe, the time I'd spent with him that year ago in the past- those days of just listening to him share his pain while staring at that same wall, those many nights visiting him in the mental hospital,
those many awkward moments of standing by him when he went into one of his weird emotional breakdowns in public, when I wanted to run and hide...maybe that's why he called me his angel, because I stuck by his side when he needed someone the most.
Even though I lost him in the end, sometimes I think..that maybe a part of me is up there in heaven already, dancing on high, with that bass down low...
Just a little memoir of a friend, as we mourn the losses of those that go the way of Robin Williams, and as we feel the pain of their families.
I almost didn't post this, but then as I drove the span of 10 minutes down the road, there were 2 songs on the radio about angels, so it felt like a sign. One was You're My Angel by Aerosmith...