I found out about two weeks ago that one of my oldest friends (and my backyard neighbor as a child) was killed in a car wreck recently. We were pretty good friends through high school, which was a bonus for me because I didn’t have many. We worked together at McDonald’s (hold your tongue) and I had both my first beer and my first cigarette with him. We had not stayed close over the years but I would run into him once in a while since his mother still lived across the yard from my parents. He had sort of a rough childhood, with an abusive, alcoholic father and a very sweet mother who always seemed a little “off.”

As it happens, I also introduced him to his first wife. She was a high school friend and they married probably right as he graduated from college. They were among the first few people I ever came out to. I was in their wedding. I also sort of new it was not going to last, and I was right. I liked both of them, but they were not a match made in heaven. I think they split up after a few years; I was living somewhere else at the time and we’d sort of lost touch. He remarried twice after that and had three daughters.

Anyway, I was looking online to see if there would be a memorial service and I was also wondering if anyone had told his first wife. When I looked her up, I found that she had also died about four years ago (cancer, I think).

So that made for kind of a depressing day. A lot of my good friends have died young, and most of them not from the causes you might expect.