Here’s some fucked up shit; Bunk died in January after a long and illustrious history of looking the same as he did in middle school, witty Looney Tunes tees and all. He killed himself, and I didn’t even find out until three months later that he had two kids and a wife and a storied past of drug charges. Disturbing the peace.
His wife is someone who grew up like us, but not near us. I see myself in the same blurry tan throwback-to-your-decade and constant soul-searching but damn it, I don’t know her. Two kids and a wife. He drew for them constantly. Bunk liked to draw.
In the fourth grade, he had monster keychains, and he gave me one. It was a two-headed dog. Bunk always said hello to me in the hallways. Bunk and I went to a birthday party once and watched the Three Stooges and made friendship necklaces on Nick’s stepmom’s old couch and black and white television. They let me stay until the sleepover. I mean,
you understand, right?
One time I was sitting in a bar well on the other side of the country all alone, listening to ‘Night Moves’. Somewhere around that time, so was he, dancing with his daughter. There’s a video. I don’t know why I looked him up; probably just to confirm that one of the constants of my perpetually running narrative was still normal and not a side effect of a memory I typically question the accuracy of; but he wasn’t, it was gone.
Bunk’s gone. It doesn’t affect me like it affects the others; after all, if I’d wanted to, if I’d cared, maybe I would have said something.
I’m staggered at how little it mattered, though. The first from our high school class. The first to never see the end of our long hometown; the first, never the last. Nobody said a word.