Normally, somewhere around this time I do a post about the last year. 2002-2005 were in many ways ugly, ugly years. Lots of death. Lots of crud welling up from the past. Lots of realizations about how much the world is not about me. Learning that even with the perfect mate you will still be very alone on some issues.
Last year was good. Not great, not bad, just a good year- the closest I can remember to a relatively normal year. Yeah, my idea of normal is skewed, but I don't think anything happened last year that I couldn't get a reasonably normal citizen to at least relate to. And that's special in its own way.
There were three important deaths last year. Two were tragedies.
Tragedy, I was told long ago, is when the flaws within the hero lead inevitably to his destruction. When you (from the sidelines) can see the train wreck coming but know that because of who the character is, he won't get off the tracks.
Andy died being him. It was fun and youthful and reckless and it was also drunken and stupid and incredibly selfish. He died as what he was, good and bad. If he had been anybody else, he wouldn't have died. Being who he was, it was the best possible way to die... just being Andy.
Brad had fought for years with his fears and inadequacies. He hated losing and he hated competing. He would throw a temper tantrum if you scored on him in training and he would cheat if he could get away with it just for the ego burst and the bragging rights. Yet he stuck with a very difficult discipline for many years (thanks largely to a dedicated and loving instructor) and he survived a knife attack with minor scratches. He was always afraid he wouldn't measure up to some image he had in his head. Always afraid. When he went to attack an aspect of that fear, deep diving, he used up all his air far too soon and when the instructor tried to save him, he fought him off and tried to claw his way to a surface that was much too far away. The fear that had driven so much of his life killed him.
Frenchy alone wasn't a tragedy. He'd survived poverty and war and injuries that he never should have. He'd had bypasses more times than I remember. I wish his death had been delayed and I wish it had been gentler and more dignified. But it was just time.
All three of these men were loved.
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