Jul 23, 2013 | Essays

July 23, 2011.


My sister and I went to catch a matinee of The Deathly Hollows – Part II. As we left the theater, I noticed that you hadn’t called or texted me back. I had grown accustomed to your daily text “Good Morning, Punk,” or some variation. This was when I first realized that something was out of place. I went home and continued packing, loading boxes into every open square inch of my car. I kept calling, but there was still no answer. Concerned about becoming that psychotic significant other that we all have stories about, I tried to keep my cool.

Five o’clock rolled around, and the time stamp on your last text told me it had been 24 hours since I last heard anything. You had said you weren’t feeling well, that you were going to bed early. I could no longer ignore the knot forming in my stomach. I called George, to see if anyone knew anything about where you were. The long distance relationship had always worked well for us, but Detroit had never felt so far away. George hadn’t heard anything, said he would see what he could find out and call me back.

I took Tucker for a final walk down the street, too distracted to appreciate the moment. I contemplated staying until I knew you were OK. I decided that they would be. Said goodbye to my family, not telling anyone about my growing panic. I played your music and poetry on shuffle the entire ride down, hoping to channel some good energy. I suppose I also just needed to hear your voice.

When Matt called and told me that you weren’t in your apartment, I knew that something was definitely wrong. My anxiety was validated. My appetite disappeared; it wouldn’t return for almost a week. As I neared the Manhattan skyline, the ipod radio adaptor began to lose it’s signal. Your voice became drowned out by static. This is the first time I remember crying.

Somehow I unloaded my car. Drenched in sweat in a stuffy upstairs bedroom, I was finally left alone with nothing but my thoughts. I reached out to Sierra. She called me back immediately. I needed to talk to someone. I needed to believe that things were going to be OK. That you would finally call and I would yell at you for scaring the shit out of me. That we would laugh about my overreaction to you losing your cell phone. That there had to be some kind of logical explanation.

This was my first night in Brooklyn. I don’t think I slept. I just tossed and perspired and stayed glued to my phone. At some point late the next morning, Matt called me again. In a choked voice that I could never forget, he told me “Blair’s dead.” My worst fear was realized in a single moment. I felt the ground fall out from beneath me. My whole body shrank and was swallowed by grief.

Within hours I was surrounded by the love of some amazing friends. Sierra called everyone we knew to make sure I wasn’t by myself. Naomi and Lindsay stayed with me for the next two days. My facebook wall and phone blew up with condolences and sympathy. I could name more names but I would take up several paragraphs and ultimately forget someone important. My memory in the wake of it all is bit of a blurry anyhow. My point is that all of those emails and phone calls and hugs helped to remind me that – in spite of how helpless and shocked and terrified and alone I felt – I was loved. At a time when there can be no true comfort, that’s all that there is.

Original posted on Tumblr, 7/23/13.