Really???

Last night in the early hours there was a helicopter out again, bringing with it all the usual thoughts, and feelings, and memories…

Every time I hear one, as it does the hovering, searching, or landing near here thing my heart sinks.

And it was right to.

Facebook this morning was full of the single vehicle accident on the bypass last night, complete with fatality, and the bypass being closed for investigations, and the chaos of traffic coming through town instead. Etc. Etc. Speculation abounded in that, ‘ooh I wonder what’s happened, I hope everyone is ok’ way, which is merely thinly veiled nosiness.

In the meantime I wasn’t having a great day, but I was coping better than sometimes, and the sun shone, and I kept it mostly together, even if I didn’t get a lot done. I even left the house, to pick up some shopping, and a skateboard, and I went and sat in the church for a little while (it’s finally partially open again) and though I’m not religious, I managed to find some sort of peace for a little while, which stayed with me for longer than it sometimes does. I was doing sort of ok, briefly…

However bad news spreads, a little slower in lockdown, but it still gets around. And it turns out that a friend of mine, Jake, was that fatality. He was only 24. I’ve known him since he was 16/17, and for whatever reason we got on really well. He was a cheerful, cheeky, cocky lad, who played a mean game of pool, laughed a lot, flirted a fair bit, and who I beat frequently, because his cockiness would always get the better of him, and being beaten by a girl dented his not insignificant ego a little, but he never took it badly. We just had such a laugh, every time we hung out. He was like an extra little brother, and we’d stayed in touch on and off even when he moved away for a bit. He ended up back around here, and I’d see him around from time to time, and we’d play the odd game of pool if he was in the Crown, or chat in passing elsewhere. He was so sweet after Matt died – he just gave me a huge hug and genuinely sincerely cared how I was feeling. I’ve got so many happy memories of long drunken nights playing pool with him and taking the piss, shooting the breeze, whatever, over the years. I’m going to miss him heaps. It’s probably just as well that the Crown is unlikely to reopen after lockdown, because it won’t be the same without him popping up there, and if we’re not all in there, we can’t notice that he won’t be either… It’s not like I saw him a lot, or often, lately…but every now and then, there he’d be. And now he won’t ever be again.

I am absolutely gutted, and I can’t believe he’s gone. So young, so alive, such a character…gone. And I can’t believe that yet another person in my life has gone either. Just like that, another person has become just memories. I’m torn between floods of tears and a very very weird numb sort of detached feeling.

Life is horrible, and cruel, and unfair, and shit, and it can always get worse. Like I didn’t know that already…💔😭.

So RIP Jake. I bet you’d be surprised by how upset everyone is, and by how much you’ll be missed. We are, and you will. Rack ’em up; one day soon enough I’ll be in the beyond too, and I think you owe me a game…

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