Wednesday, December 05, 2007

and life goes on

So, work today was bad.

We weren't crazy busy. Rude customers were at a minimum. Bosses were nice and understanding. Equipment was up and running the way it should.

Today was bad for a completely different reason.

Today, we lost a member of our team. An employee we thought we knew. Someone that was well liked. Someone who made our workplace just a little bit warmer with his dry sense of humor.

To most of us who worked with him, he was the gay pharmacy tech who rode his bike to work. He was pleasant but quiet. The one who ventured out of the pharmacy and actually talked to us "regular" folks. The one in charge of picking up the trash magazines when things in the back got slow. The only one back there who actually helped with the truck on Thursdays - without being asked. The one who worked at the pharmacy during the day, and waiting tables at night.

In reality, we didn't know much about him, at least not the important stuff. We didn't know about his family, or his friends. Or if he was happy. Or if he had some deep hidden problem that we were all unaware of. We didn't think to ask, as we often times don't when someone is just a co-worker.

We found out today that yesterday was his birthday. No one bought a card. No well wishes were made. At least none that I heard.

Today he was supposed to be at work first thing in the morning.

He didn't show up.

He was called, and no one answered.

Friends visited, and still no answer.

Hours went by, still nothing.

Friends became worried and demanded access to his apartment.

And, only then, did the unanswered questions finally get answered.

He was found, alone in his apartment, dead. At 29 years old, the day after his birthday.

No one knows what happened. Assumptions have been made. From drug overdose to suicide.

In truth, we may never know what happened to him. To the guy who, looking back, seemed a little too quiet, a little too. . . . alone. The guy I wish I would have gotten to know so much more. The guy who, just yesterday, I wouldn't have given a second thought to after I left work.

Yet, today I can't seem to erase his face from my mind. Or the image of him pedaling his green beach cruiser to and from work.

And, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to stop thinking about how someone, so young, so full of life just yesterday can be gone today. Without warning, without notice. Just. . . . . gone. And yet, life still goes on. As it did yesterday, as it will tomorrow. Work will continue on without him. His position will be replaced. And months from now he'll become a distant memory in most of our minds. We get to continue on in our journey while his ended so abruptly and all too soon.

Somehow, it just seems so unfair.


Amber said...

Oh I am so so sorry. :( I know you wish now you had done or said something but it's hard when people don't say anything about their loneliness. Life is hard enough without carrying extra guilt over your sexuality; I wonder if that had any part in it? It makes me so angry when I hear people who shun gays for being gay. How would *they* like it if they were ostracized for something they cannot help? Bah, don't get me started.

My sympathies to you and your co-workers.

April said...

Amber,I'm really not sure if his sexuality was a factor in things at all. I think, even if subconsciencely, that it probably was a part of it, in all honesty. Whether it be the drinking because of the guilt. Or the alleged drug abuse to forget his problems. He never really mentioned that he was gay. Everyone knew, but he never said anything about it.

I don't know if it was shame or if he was afraid of what people would think. Only today did we find out for sure that he was, in fact, "out" to his family.

And, I feel the same as you about some people's opinions on gays. It infuriates me that some people have the nerve to chastise someone being attracted to the same sex. For loving someone who just happens to have the same parts as they do. Who the hell cares?!! As long as they are happy why should it matter? And why should they be made to feel like there is anything wrong with their decision? This world is hard enough without making extra burdens for people to carry on their hearts.

And, anyway, aren't there more important things in this world to discriminate against, like child molesters, or child abductors, than who someone is attracted to? Isn't that like discriminating against love? And no one sees a problem with that?!!