Thursday, August 22, 2013

Supporting Cast...

It's pretty human to tell a story from your own perspective. It's how we see the world. It makes sense. We're the main character, then there's a few other big roles, and a supporting cast.   There's nothing wrong with that but it's not the only thing.  It's always important to remember that everyone that's supporting cast to us is a main character in their own story and they hold a big role in several other people's stories.  Sometimes the stories of people we know and love, our main cast. 

I spent the last six days with Lewis, a close friend I made through another close friend.  He wasn't important to me until he was.  He grew more and more important and he's more than supporting cast now. He's a close friend, a trusted confidante, and someone I always have great adventures with.   He lives in NM and travels extensively, so being able to spend 6 days with him was amazing.  I used to see him every few days, and I missed that so much, so getting to have him here for so long and seeing him every day, and long talks and walks and bike trips just reinforced how great it is to have people like him in my life. 

When he packed up and got on his bike and left this morning after giving me a big hug, I was sad to see him go, enough that it tinged my morning blue. 

I have this circle of friends, and as cheesy as it sounds to say, we forged some major bonds at bonfires held in a backyard in Round Lake.  We were young and figuring things out but the fires were a given, and the main group was always the same, with supporting cast making appearances here and there, adding fresh conversation, laughter, and new stories.  

Tonight I unexpectedly found out that a friend from some of those fires passed away unexpectedly yesterday.  I can't say he had a big role in my story, but for more than one of my close friends from the "fire circle" he did, at least at one point or another. I'm still in shock and since I'm not finding the spoken word very...coherent or easy to speak, I'm here, writing.  

It's not my place to tell the story of my friend who passed away.  What I can say though, is that although he may not have been someone I talked with recently or whose story I knew very well, he was a kind person.  A quiet, funny, sweet guy who I only have fond memories of, from laughing around the fire, to the occasional one on one conversations and beyond.   When I think of him, it's a highlight reel, because his addition to the group was always positive.  And that's something that I don't want to overlook. 

We're bicoastal now, my fire friends and I.  All I really want right now is everyone in one place, like my friend Ben's basement.  We'd probably still be in shock, and maybe no one would have anything to say. Maybe we'd all hug or maybe we'd sit there in silence.  But the distance seems a little too far tonight.  The sadness has been spreading like a pond ripple and no one seems to know what to say.  There's really no words that make anything better.  

My thoughts are still everywhere right now.   
I didn't know I'd feel the absence so strongly.  I knew I'd hurt for my friends whose lives he played a much bigger role in, but I guess I didn't realize the memories that would spring to mind and play back so readily. Maybe I didn't realize just how much supporting cast matters. 

Of course, like anyone else does, I started thinking about some of the people who hold the big roles, and people who things aren't right with right now, and what was important. Some part of me wants to scream "it's not worth it to hold on to this stuff- anything could happen. Life is short. I'm afraid, and I don't want to lose you." 

Like anyone else, I want to hug the hell out of all the people I love.  
Tonight I'm thinking of "the supporting cast" though.  
I'm thinking of a friend who I lost.  
I'm thinking that if anyone plays any role in your life, if you can honestly say that they've made your life better or happier, then it's worth it to let them know.

We don't know who's going to come in and out of our lives, and what kind of role they're really going to play.  Maybe it starts small and becomes giant.  Maybe it's a big role and it gets a bit smaller with time. 
But our friends and family shape us.  They make memories with us and we carry that with us forever. 
So really, there are no small roles. 

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