And I thought, for a brief time, that one of my drivers had been killed in a fiery crash.
Fuck, today has been rough.
My boss called just before 8 this morning, asking who'd been on his way home on northbound I-65 last night. No one, that I remembered. He said whoever it'd been, he'd rear-ended another truck and had burnt his truck to the ground.
My heart stopped, then jump-started, beating too fast and causing me to shake. Over the next hour, Bossman and I called every driver on our roster, asking, "You okay?" to each one, knowing just by their answering the phone that they were. Eventually, we learned the driver was from our Cincinnati location, and that his injuries weren't serious; in fact, he was released before lunchtime. Thank God.
A Caddy cut off the truck in front of him. That truck slammed on its breaks, and our driver had nowhere to go but into the trailer in front of him. When emergency services found (empty - but they didn't know that) drums on the rear of our driver's trailer, they tried to reach us to find out what sort of chemicals we were carrying. When they couldn't reach anyone, they dispatched a foam truck from the airport to extinguish the flames. Meanwhile, the truck and trailer burned. To a fucking crisp.
But the driver's okay. The truck can be replaced. No one was hurt. Thank God.
And then my friend.
He's an internet friend. We met on www.louisvillemojo.com, via the forums, years ago. We met in person at either Petrus (nightclub) on a Thursday night, or at an Ale Club meeting. I can't remember. I do remember the night I got him high in front of the Mag bar. He's all, "Nattums, um, we're standing on the corner of Magnolia and 2nd. In front of a bar. With a big window. Are you seriously going to smoke pot here?" "Yeah. Want some?" "Okay." Later, in the back yard of the bar, while sitting on a stump that served as a bench, he says, "Nattums? You do this regularly? HOW?"
I'll miss you, Chris. You had good humor, and I wish you'd come out of your shell more. I wish you'd come over one of those random nights I offered to save you a seat next to our backyard fire and get you high. You were fun. I'm sorry your time was so short. It makes me sad.
I posted a message on Facebook tonight, after reading the dozens of posts left on Chris's wall; the RIP's, the "we'll miss you"s, and the " I remember when"s. I suggested we get together, at the local (Ale Club) watering hole, and have a drink in honor of our friend. A lot of people came. I was surprised by the turnout. I hope Chris know about it, somehow. I hope he is/was aware of how much people thought of him. I hope he didn't feel alone.
I hope these things for him, because I hope them for myself. Dying alone and unnoticed is the scariest thing in the whole wide world. I want tears to be shed for me. The idea that no one would notice is awful. We all deserve recognition, if for nothing more than the fact that we survived ____ years with all the bullshit and ridiculousness and insanity of the world. We all have something brilliant to offer. We all deserve to have someone notice our brilliance.
Chris's brilliance was his humor. He was witty and dry and acerbic and just fucking funny. At the same time, he was sweet and innocent and naive and kind. I liked him. And I'll miss him.
RIP, Chris. I hope you've found happy.