A blog about whatever randomosity my fevered mind conceives.

Challenge Day 21: (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two get into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

Right off the bat here, I don’t like this prompt for a couple reasons.

First, I hate the whole ‘what would you do in this situation’ premise. If life has taught me anything, it’s that you never know what you’re going to do in any situation until the situation arrives. We all (or at least me, but I’d like to think I’m not alone here) sit back and shout at the TV/movie screen complaining, ‘Oh come on!! That’s so stupid!’ before turning to our viewing partner and saying, ‘Ya, I totally wouldn’t have done that; I would have (insert appropriate sounding course of action here) instead’. Seriously, the other night while watching the season finale of The Walking Dead, I was shouting at the characters about their lack of situational awareness, “Damn it you moron!! Don’t you see the herd of zombies coming across the field? Now is so not the time for that oh-so-special father and son moment! Move your damn ass!” I always seem to have commentary for the characters on the other side of the screen; especially when it comes to horror. (It really only seems weird when I’m alone, and instead of turning to my buddy after I’ve made the comment, I have a little ha-ha conversation with myself.) The truth is, I have no idea how I’d deal with a zombie apocalypse, so this is just me being judgmental – it’s okay though; they’re only judgements against make believe characters so I consider this one a pass.

As a ‘furthermore’, we all (or at least me, but again I’m hoping I’m not alone here) see stories in the news and think or say similar things. For example (and I know I’ve had this conversation somewhere recently, but can’t quite remember when/where); the man who turns out to be a serial killer while his wife of twenty years has no idea… Who hasn’t thought to themselves, ‘Ya, there is no way that one would have gotten past me!’? Again, we have no idea how we’d deal with the situation until we’re actually in the situation. Think about this; how many of us have been so deeply in love with someone that we’ve been completely blind to the fact that they’re shagging half our friends? (*Raises hand*) Now, if someone could pull something like that over our eyes, we have to consider the fact that they might be able to get away with even more devious actions right under our love-sick little noses. Right?

The second reason why I’m not overly fond of this prompt is that it’s so unspecific; how bad was the accident? Did my friend go to the hospital? If so, why; did they break a leg? Did they lose a toe? Do they need a blood transfusion? Are they in a coma? Did they… die? Also, what did we fight about? I need to know how much guilt I’m carrying around. I mean, it makes a pretty big difference what we’re bickering about. Was it over the fact that they borrowed one of my books and folded over corners – grrr – or maybe the fight was because I caught them leech-facing my man… or what if we fought because they were trying to drive home after drinking and I was being my usual self and demanding they stay the night in my spare room… that sort of thing gets me a little uptight, so I could see us having a heated one about that. Depending on what the fight was over and how bad the fight was, it’s logical to assume that I’d deal with the whole thing in a number of different ways. Without the details, how am I even supposed to begin to guess at how I might react?   

Now I know, as a writer I should (probably) just use my imagination and let this one take me wherever it might, right? And yes, I could, but that wouldn’t exactly be honest since – as I said – I have no idea how I’d actually react to this particular situation with this particular friend. Since I don’t want to do that, I’m going to take another approach to this same question; I’m going to tell you something that I have actually had to deal with that is at least somewhat related to this prompt. I’m also going to try to do it in a way that doesn’t come off too gloomy, and then I’ll finish it all off with a ‘the moral of this story is…’ moment.

My father is a bit of a whore; honestly, most of my family calls him ‘the wandering jack rabbit’ because he’s left a trail of kids all across Canada. Not the point, but it relates. You see, when I was about fifteen, I met one of my older brothers for the first time; we’ll call him Arnold. I met Arnold when he came out from Ontario to stay with my dad; I was also visiting the man at the time; and we didn’t exactly hit it off. He got along great with my little sister (I think we’ve been calling her Jade – and she’s my only full-blood sibling, by the way), but he and I just couldn’t seem to see eye-to-eye. I loved the guy, but I thought I hated him too.

Anyway, he couldn’t see eye-to-eye with Daddy-O either, and he ended up coming back to the Okanogan to live with my mom (she used to babysit him as a kid you see, it’s a really long story so we’ll just leave it there), Jade, me and my little brother (we’ll call him Brody).  As time went on, the little differences that put me and Arnold at odds seemed to grow and grow until we couldn’t even be in the same room together without turning it into a war zone.

Arnold had stayed on with my mom and the lot even after I left home, but when I was about eighteen he decided he couldn’t deal with that insanity anymore than I could, and so he headed back to the coast. I didn’t even go home for his farewell dinner, and I never said goodbye. The last time I ever saw him, we’d had a massive blow out about him letting himself into my shitty little apartment to borrow CDs without my express permission.

Less than a year later, Arnold was dead.

Now there were some really shady elements about his death, and no one seems all that certain as to whether it was murder or suicide, but since this mystery doesn’t really factor into the story I’m telling right now, we’ll just move on.

After Arnold left the Okanogan, I only talked to him twice on the phone; they were extremely short, and rather cold conversations. I never said sorry for all of my bullshit, I never forgave him for his, and I never told him I loved him. I was a kid, and I was right (or so we usually think we are when we’re young), and since I assumed we’d have a lifetime to get over ourselves and deal, I never considered the fact that we might never have the chance to really become brother and sister.

Though we weren’t close, his death was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to deal with. The guilt I felt was intense and the sense of loss was even more about lost chances than a lost life. I’d always wanted a big brother, you see, and when I finally got to meet one of mine, I blew the chance, and I blew him off. It took me a very long time to make peace with the whole situation; to forgive myself for being a stupid kid and to forgive him for ending up dead before we could clean up the mess we’d made of things.  

The moral of this story is; we never know what tomorrow brings, so live in the moment and try not to make decisions you might come to regret in the future. Don’t let your loved ones out of your sight while you’re at odds – don’t let your last words be angry ones. Don’t allow little fissures in your relationships to grow into massive canyons; the second the distance begins to grow between you, try to build a bridge. Don’t put things off… It doesn’t matter how young or healthy we are, or how much time we think we have left to heal old wounds; any one of us could walk out that door tomorrow and get hit by a bus, so when/if possible, take out the Band-Aids and get the healing started while you still have the chance.

Yes, it’s all easier said then done, but it’s wisdom I try to live by these days. Am I infallible; do I always follow my own philosophies to a tee? No, I’m a lot wiser than I once was, but I’m still human and thus extremely prone to errors. At least I do make attempts to rectify my mistakes as soon as I catch myself slipping up… and that’s got to count for something.

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9 responses

  1. The serial killer conversation was with ME! 😀 We were talking about.. Umm.. Not knowing people or something.. I don’t really remember how it started but it was on one of challenge posts.

    And I’m really sorry about Arnold… It had to be hard to move on from something like that, but the fact that you did manage proves just how strong you are. Life doesn’t wait for anyone no matter what happens, and you managed to keep up.

    I don’t know too much about death, so I’m just gonna shut up now.

    March 21, 2012 at 7:39 am

    • Ah! It was you, okay lol. I remember now!
      Ya… I’m not good with the death thing either. I always feel tempted to say, “I’m sorry” but it seems so ridiculous to say something like that (I still do, but it always feels wrong), you know what I mean? It’s like we should have something more profound to say; some great message of wisdom; but usually my brain just goes blank and I feel really twitchy.Stupid.
      It was a long time ago now that he died… and like so many things in my life I’ve somehow made peace with it… if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t even talk about it here.

      March 21, 2012 at 7:49 am

      • Believe me I know. I’ve been saying “I’m sorry” for the past two days even though I don’t quite know how it helps anyone. I feel like saying that, fuck this, I’m gonna fix it, and then I remember that I can’t. x_x

        I’m glad you moved past it. Kudos to you. 🙂

        March 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

      • Dude, that’s exactly how I always feel and part of the reason I stopped going to funerals. Because I’m the ‘word girl’ people always seem to look to me to say the right thing… I hate that because I always feel like I’m supposed to have more answers than I ever do… when it comes to death I’m just as clueless as everyone else. Like you, I always want to say, “I got this one, I’ll fix it!” but I can’t and that makes me feel powerless and I hate feeling powerless… stupid death! It’s one of the last things left in this world that I’m not good at facing head on… Yes, I can deal with it in the long run, but while it’s fresh I’m always pretty much useless – as I’ve probably managed to adequately demonstrate by my lack of proper expression for what you’re going through right now. On that note, just keep in mind that I adore you and that I’m here if/when you need to vent and that I’m thinking of you and sending you mental hugs and junk… okay?

        March 21, 2012 at 8:13 am

      • I swear! People have all these expectations, looking at you for support, and you’re just like.. wtf am I supposed to do? Really? I can’t bring him back now can I? I understand that they’re sad, but then again so am I, and they aren’t saying anything to make ME feel better are they? x_x

        Death always make me go numb. I dunno why. Whenever I hear someone I know has passed on, or someone’s been in an accident, I honestly don’t feel anything. I don’t feel like crying, I don’t feel depressed.. I just don’t feel. It’s very annoying and really uncomfortable. I know what to do with emotions, but when there aren’t any, what on earth do you do? This is my main reason for hating death. I feel nothing for it.

        And dude, you really don’t need to worry. It takes a while for me finally get my head on straight and actually feel the “loss”. And I receive your mental hugs every time. 😛 Nothing to worry about.

        March 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

      • Numb… that’s the perfect word for it. It usually takes me a few days before I cry or even know if i need to cry, which is nutz since I cry over strangers in the news. It’s got to be a defense mechanism; or shock, I don’t really know.
        And ya, like I said the other day, you deal with things like I do for the most part… I just felt the need to put that out there again because, well like the conversation indicates, I such with dealing with death and grief… it’s my version of saying a useless ‘I’m sorry’ I guess. xx

        March 21, 2012 at 8:59 am

      • Exactly my point. I cry, for like 5mins originally, and them just stop. After a week or so, it finally sinks in, and I become a waterfall. God, I hope it’s a defense mechanism, I don’t wanna be Dexter part two or something. Lol.

        Haha. Yeah. We do deal with things in a similar way which is pretty cool. Not a lot of people out there who can say that they know someone else who has the coping techniques. 😛

        Honestly, don’t worry about saying “I’m sorry” or whatever. I’m sure I’ll work this one out just like all the others. This wasn’t my first death, and it probably won’t be my last.

        March 21, 2012 at 9:17 am

  2. SweetP

    Wow, food for thought! I so agree!!! My step-daughter was 9 months pregnant, having dinner with me, and I didn’t know!!! She hid the whole pregnancy! Thank God we have a wonderful, healthy 11 yr old grandson now! But as for family, I have a very distant relationship with my sister and brother. I always feel that once my mom is no longer with us, I will not have anything to do with them again, and that is sad. But I’m also afraid of bridging that gap because, they are kinda ignorant, and really, until they realize it, I don’t think they will hear my words and I’m not really one to stand up for myself when met with their negativity. Oh well, maybe I need to grow a bit. Thanks for this post, wonderful!

    March 23, 2012 at 5:25 am

  3. The answers and your story is great! Yea I am like that while watching TV! I respond to the characters on the show and sometimes if we were in their situation we might be the same too, we never know. About your elder brother, I am sorry that he is gone but I am sure he is happy to see that you moved on and I am sure he forgives you everything you have done. Guilt is there but things have to go on and dont worry about it anymore, i bet its already forgiven for it is over. Thanks for the post!:)
    Always have and been Resting in Peace Dear Brother Arnold.

    April 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm

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