I missed Marcelo. I missed reconnecting with him. I missed apologizing to him. Now I just miss him.
Of everyone I’ve known he is the person who I most cared what they thought of me. And I couldn’t look him in the eye. As I descended into drugs and homelessness and… I couldn’t face Marcelo. I was never drunk enough. I was just too embarrassed to call him.
Last time I saw Marc, I was walking through Washington Square Park on the way to my death. I had busted into some guy’s apartment in some drug-fueled rage and was on my way to face him and several of his friends and probably get my face pummeled, limbs broken. Then out of nowhere there was Marc like some fucking guardian angel with that big beautiful smile of his. I hadn’t seen him for years.
“Dude, I’m actually on my way to face some guys who want to beat the shit out of me.”
“I’ll come with you.”
And just like that, THEY were outnumbered.
I can’t say if it was a good thing that I didn’t get my head beaten-in, face pummeled. And the girl we were fighting over, she was out of both our leagues. But the universe had hand delivered a chance to reconnect with an old friend, a good friend as well as saving my life in the process. But did I take it? I wouldn’t be crying so hard now if I had.
When I first became homeless, Marcelo would let me sleep on the floor of his closet. I was trying to finish High School and I would spend some nights at different people’s houses when I wasn’t just riding the subways all night. Over-staying my welcome, I think, everywhere I went. Just me and my bottle of Jack Daniels. I didn’t really care. But Marc, he would look at me like, “Mel you’re better than this.”
You’re better than this. But I wasn’t.
Marc, I wasn’t. I was just really good at pretending I was. I’m sorry man.