I'd been at K's place in Columbus when I got a cryptic phone message from my sister. It was in that “I have bad news, but I don't want to tell you how bad over the phone” voice. I can't even remember exactly what she said, just that she said it was important.
I didn't hurry, because I could tell from her tone that whatever had happened had already happened. I figured I might as well be happy for a bit longer.
I don't regret it.
I got home around midnight. The back door was open.
They were waiting for me.
Everyone was there. Everyone, I noted, but one.
The significance of that absence was lost on me.
My sister told me the news was bad, I could see it on everyone's face, and told me to sit down.
“Gage is dead.” She said.
This was not the bad news I was expecting. I was expecting... well, I don't know what I was expecting.
Certainly not that.
He hadn't been feeling well, his Mom was going to drive him to the emergency room, he passed out and that was it. Just shy of 24 years old and he's gone like turning off a light switch.
No drugs, no booze, no history of illness, certainly not suicidal, GONE.
We still don't know why. They did an autopsy, but the report hasn't come back yet. What little information there is suggests that a blood clot went to his lungs, but that's just speculation at this point.
As bad as it is to lose a friend under any circumstances this one cuts hard and deep because it was completely without warning, without reason, without ANYTHING.
In my life I've been blessed with more than my fair share of great friends and I'm privileged to have counted Gage among them. It sounds cliché, but he's literally the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his own back.
I talk a lot about the shit I went through and my near death experience and everything. I'm not going to re-hash it right now, because even to me it sounds like I'm trying to have a pissing contest over who went through the most.
But the fucked up thing is this, the last time I saw Gage he and I were talking about it and about what I believe based on it.
In the beginning there was nothing but a mass of pure energy. Energy with consciousness. God, for all intents and purposes. God was alone. The universe was void. There was no context or meaning to anything.
So to understand existence, God created matter. On a quantum level, matter is simply energy reduced to a slow vibration. All that is or ever will be is a part of that energy, including life, which includes us.
God understands what life is by seeing how we live. God experiences it through us, and in turn our experiences shape what God is. And when our time is over, we return to the source.
It's like Bill Hicks said, we are all the same energy subjectively experiencing itself.
I believe this.
Maybe I'm out of my mind, I don't know, but I truly believe that this is the case and that I once caught a fleeting glimpse of it.
I believe that there is something beyond this life.
I believe that Gage is in a better place.
I don't mourn his fate, it waits for all of us one way or another and it's a beautiful thing. I mourn the fate of having to go on without our friend. Without our brother.