I laid my best friend and brother to rest today. Now, there will always be a definitive Before, and After.
He is who I would talk to when it came to these things. We talked about everything and anything. All day, every day. It was an odd and strange time to go more than 12 hours without one of us poking each other. usually it was Aeryk at 3 in the morning with some harebrained scheme or whatever drama he had finished digesting and spat out in a voicemail to me. Our streams of consciousness chats were not burdensome, but looked forward to( many hours at work were “wasted” chatting instead of actually working ). We offloaded whatever we had with no expectations, no judgement. There were no lines to cross with each other, unless it came to the semantics of debate. He pissed me off. A lot. And I him. But we always came back and either hashed it out, or agreed to disagree (this was rare, since someone usually had to be right).
There’s so much to say that I thought I would never have to voice, never have to write down. It doesn’t feel real. Forever stuck in some horrible Lifetime, Direct to TV movie, with the melodramatic music and long drives. I keep waiting for my phone to buzz with a call or a message from him, an invite to do something I invariably dont have the energy for after work. He was always doing something, and I regret not having more energy to have given him more time.
So, so many future plans gone. We always had something in the skunkworks. Something was always happening (with me, or his multitude of other friends), mused, planned, discarded for the next new shiny thought.
Aeryk was a sappy bastard, and I admittedly am not a very touchy-feely person. Quite the Stoic really.
He told me he loved me with frequency, and my biggest regret is not saying it back more.
I could ramble on forever. My Epitaph for Aeryk is equally long and rambling. he shared my love of philosophy, and of my personal favorite philosophical mentor, Marcus Aurelius. A passage he loved, and in turn I as well, follows. (Its worth it to read to the end, which is the best part)
I love you Aeryk, you gentleman bastard. Until next time.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, End of Book 2:
The soul of man harms itself, first and foremost, when it becomes (as far as it can) a separate growth, a sort of tumor on the universe: because to resent anything that happens is to separate oneself in revolt from Nature, which holds in collective embrace the particular natures of all other things. Secondly, when it turns away from another human being, or is even carried so far in opposition as to intend him harm – such is the case in the souls of those gripped by anger. A soul harms itself, thirdly, when it gives in to pleasure or pain. Fourthly, whenever it dissimulates, doing or saying anything feigned or false. Fifthly, whenever it fails to direct any of its own actions or impulses to a goal, but acts at random, without conscious attention – whereas even the most trivial action should be undertaken in reference to the end. And the end for rational creatures is to follow the reason and the rule of the most venerable archetype of a governing state – the Universe.
In man’s life his time is a mere instant, his existence a flux, his perception fogged, his whole bodily composition rotting, his mind a whirligig, his fortune unpredictable, his fame unclear. To put it shortly: all things of the body stream away like a river, all things of the mind are dreams and delusion; life is warfare, and a visit in a strange land, the only lasting fame is oblivion.
What then can escort us on our way? One thing and one thing only: philosophy. This consists in keeping the divinity within us inviolate and free from harm, master of pleasure and pain, doing nothing without aim, truth, or integrity, and independent of others’ action or failure to act. Further, accepting all that happens and is allotted to it as coming from that other source which is its own origin: and at all times awaiting death with the glad confidence that it is nothing more than the dissolution of the elements of which every living creature is composed. Now if there is nothing fearful for the elements themselves in their constant changing of each into another, why should one look anxiously in prospect at the change and dissolution of them all? This is in accordance with nature: and nothing harmful is in accordance with nature.