July 22, 2003

Remembering Aaron

My best friend from high school died last Monday morning. I haven’t posted about anything since then, because it felt weird to be writing about other things without acknowledging him… but before now his passing was too close for me to put down on paper. But I got a call from his Mother today while I was at work. And she wants me to take care of some things for his funeral. So I guess I’m using this space to work my way up to the things she asked me to do.

I met Aaron the summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school. We were introduced by a mutual acquaintance that I’d met earlier in the week while protesting the National GOP convention in San Diego. I was sitting on the sidewalk when he walked up and he sat down next to me. After exchanging names and protest stories we decided that it was too hot to be sitting outside and walked to 7-11 to get some Dr. Pepper. By the time our big gulps had been filled, we were friends for life. From that point on, we spent just about every single day together until the day he left to start college at Berkeley.

Aaron was the first friend I had that made me feel safe. From the day I met him, he had the ability to comfort me, regardless of what was going on in my world. He was the first person to teach me that I could create a family out of the people I met along the way. When we both lived in San Diego, we would spend the night together more often than not, and I would fall asleep with my head against his chest, letting his heartbeat lull me to sleep.

Aaron is one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. His poetry and photography are brilliant on levels that I can’t even explain with words alone. In high school, Aaron was constantly winning awards in contests that he never even knew he was part of, because teachers and administrators would recognize his brilliance and enter pieces for him. Despite graduating from high school with high honors, he had no intentions of going to a university. His aunt secretly applied to Berkeley in his name, and informed him of his future plans once he was accepted.

Aaron was incredibly smart, talented, sincere, beautiful, caring, and strong. I have never seen him be mean to anyone…ever…even when they deserved it. Watching him deteriorate over the last year and a half has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. But he was living it, and he never complained. Even when it was clear that he was incredible pain, he was sending peaceful energy out.

The world has suffered a significant loss this week. I know that I sound biased because I love him. But if you’d known him, you would agree.

Posted by j*2the*olie at July 22, 2003 02:39 PM

i'm so, so sorry. hope you are doing ok.

Posted by: didofoot on July 22, 2003 03:27 PM

jolie, i was very sorry to hear this. i never actually met aaron, (seeing him from a car once when i picked you up in berkeley notwithstanding), but i know how much you loved him and so i am sorry that this is probably extremely hard on you. i hope you are doing ok on the east coast. and if you're coming back west for any of the things you are doing for his mom, you should let us know because maybe we can come to SD or whatever and see you.

Posted by: michele on July 23, 2003 02:27 PM

thank you guys so much for your sentiments. it really means a lot to me. it's been hard to go through all of this without having familiar faces around. unfortunately I can't afford to fly to san diego for the funeral/life celebration. i can't even afford to buy bagels these days, due to the whole expensive moving to the east coast thing. timing sucks.

right now i'm putting together all of the pictures i have for a slideshow that some of his other friends are putting together...and writing his dad's side of the family to see if they will contribute any poems or pictures of his that they have. I also need to write something for them to read at the service. but i haven't been able to do that yet. like i said... i kind of need to work up to it.

Posted by: Jolie on July 23, 2003 04:31 PM

sorry i'm kind of slow on the draw here, but i haven't been on c.h. for days. i'm so sorry, babe. i mean, you already know that, but i wanted to say it again. i never did get to meet aaron, and still i understand what a loss the world has suffered. i loved all the wild, crazy, lovely stories about your times together that you shared with me. aaron helped make you who you are, and i love him for it. sending you all my love across the country...

Posted by: erica on July 24, 2003 10:58 AM

I was lucky enough to meet Aaron, and it was a real dissapointment that he left the Bay Area before I could get to know him better. You could tell immediately that he was an incredible person.

Posted by: jason on July 26, 2003 09:07 PM