Maybe Why They Say ‘RIP’
April 13, 2014, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Human Potential

I need to be cleaning the bedroom to make room to do yoga in it right now, but this will maybe clear my head, and I haven’t done that in a while.

I wanted to write a bit about this guy I went to college with. I met him the first day I went (with my twin sister) to register for classes, get a student I.D. and whatnot. It seems so special now when I look back. Classy comes to mind when I think of the first time I met this person and his dad. For some reason, meeting this short (for a guy), handsome, reddish-brown-skinned college freshman was a highlight, the only thing I remember about that day.

Meeting this guy and his dad made the college experience I was about to have seem like a gift I didn’t feel I deserved. North Carolina Central University was the only school I’d applied to because it was close to home and I thought it’d be easier to get into than other schools, like UNC-Chappel Hill. Claude (and his dad) were a sign of an unexpected adventure to come, a college experience that would open me to people I didn’t think I’d never meet, talented, cool and smooth people from big cities. That’s how I thought of Claude that day. Even his name seemed artsy, classy. His dad seemed cool, too, comfortable in an education setting in a way I didn’t think of my working class parents as being.

I went on Facebook this morning and found out Claude died Friday.

I feel like I’m in a weird position to care since I have been like an outsider all my life, including in college. I have been here in this world all my life (34 years), but it seems like I’ve never really been here, which I imagine can be a common feeling, even for people who have a more noticeable presence, like Claude.

Even though in college, like in my whole life, I was passive and friendless, the people around me were still important to me. I looked up to and had a crush on Claude on and off, like probably a lot of girls did. He was blunt, one of those rare people who said stuff you aren’t “supposed” to say, and kind of cocky (something I’ve always liked in others), but he just seemed smooth (the way he dressed, seemingly difficult to affect).

If I died today, I’d want the people who might otherwise be sad to feel I was with them still. That’s how I feel about Claude right now. Even though it seems I’d be unimportant to Claude, I feel like the opposite is true. That doesn’t make me sad, but it makes me want to cry. It makes me feel like there is more to life than these bodies and personalities I see as “us all.”

I feel a sense of peace. I imagine that’s what this person I called “Claude” feels now, too. It’s like he is with me and that none of the things that would’ve seemed to distance us from each other exist. For all of this I feel blessed, like I felt that day I met him.


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