"Rage, rage against the dying of the light" - In Memory of Byron Card
I don't remember much of the phone conversation after he'd broken the news to me. He didn't have much information other than Byron had committed suicide. I vaguely remember calling Chris and telling him. Beyond that, I've blurred impressions of the people surrounding me on my commute and the sharp *snick* and the hiss of the flame from my lighter as I lit cigarette after cigarette, savoring the bitter taste of the smoke and the burning of my lungs as I chain-smoked at my bus-stop on Yesler while I waited for the bus home. It reminded me that I was alive.
What I felt (and still feel to a degree) was an overwhelming sense of numbness. This numbness is wearing off and being replaced by a growing sense of anger.
I'm angry that the lovely, kind Byron is dead.
I'm angry that Byron, who was always so generous and sweet-tempered, was so despairing that he took his life.
I'm angry at myself for having lost touch with him - even before I'd moved to Seattle, we'd kind of drifted apart. I in the dizzying whirl of preparing to move, he in the dizzying whirl of finding a boyfriend.
And I'm angry because I've no-one at whom I can direct this anger.
Byron was a fantastic person. For a long time, he was the only person I'd have color or cut my hair. I looked forward to going down to Studio 120 on Fourth and sitting and chatting with Gail while waiting for him to finish up and then gossiping with Byron. He was never as sharp-tongued or venomous as me. He'd giggle at my acerbic comments and we'd make plans to go out later to the bar for a few drinks. We'd wind up spending far too much and far too many hours drinking and having fun with the others. He would dance and dance. Occasionally, he'd grumble about the rude straights; but generally, he kept an even temper and shrugged them off.
When Patrick and I lived together, I'd on numerous occasions had Byron over for dinner - either as part of a dinner party or one or two friends coming over for a quick bite before heading to the bar. One time, he brought round a few boxes of "Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans" candy. And I remember him, Chris, and me sitting in the kitchen trying them in between cocktails.
I remember Byron as the nice one - the foil to my bitterness. He had, on many occasions, chided me gently when I'd given too free of a rein to my acid-tongue.
I've been having a hard time accepting that Byron's dead. Of all of my friends (and this will sound terrible, but you know exactly what I mean), he was the last person who I would've imagined would choose suicide.
I hadn't any idea that he was filled with such despair and I am bitter that someone like Byron would be driven to such lengths.
I really haven't much more to say...
Other than one last shout of "HOOKERS!" to you, Byron.
I'll miss you.
You can read Patrick Jacob's comments here.