Tuesday, August 23, 2005

How Life Must End

Today is a day of remembering ... for four years he was the guy who was right after me in the class list. For years his mother and mine were always comparing notes about their boys, though we, their sons, tried to go on separate tracks.

I could say he was a natural - he was one of those sorts who earned his "street credibility" because he was so grown-up, almost a man by the time both of us were fifteen. And I knew he was smart - it was just a question of how his intelligence was oriented. While a number of us were in one sense "deluded" by intellectual exercises and world issues, he was coming to grips with his own identity, something that only came to me later in college and in my professional life.

One of my regrets was that I never really bothered to know him. He was on one end of the "spectra" in our homeroom class, and I was always regarded to be on the other.

His name was Saturnino Laririt III, dead by his own hand these fifteen years past. I can never confess to be one of his true friends while he was alive, so I will do my best to respect his memory now that he is dead. I had this vision of his eventual fate one day while we were walking to class sixteen years ago, when he told me he couldn't sleep and had to take a whole lot of sleeping pills. It was a sign that I didn't hook up on. But who knew? He was tough, resourceful, resilient, popular with girls --- the kind of guy I would have wanted to be except that I wanted better grades.

Life will come to an end for all of us --- and it would be a false breast-beating to go back over something that cannot be undone --- but I would have appreciated knowing Boying a little more, given the way my life turned out and how his, unfortunately, came to an accelerated end.

In the poignant song by Michael Jackson, the best moments of our lives are now, and the beauty of each person is to be treasured. Easier said than done, but it would be worth trying...

With music by Larry Grossman and lyrics by Buz Kohan

Like a comet
Blazing 'cross the evening sky
Gone too soon

Like a rainbow
Fading in the twinkling of an eye
Gone too soon

Shiny and sparkly
And splendidly bright
Here one day
Gone one night

Like the loss of sunlight
On a cloudy afternoon
Gone too soon

Like a castle
Built upon a sandy beach
Gone too soon

Like a perfect flower
That is just beyond your reach
Gone too soon

Born to amuse,
to inspire, to delight
Here one day
Gone one night

Like a sunset
Dying with the rising of the moon
Gone too soon

Gone too soon...

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