When I was little I loved playing the game battleship. Something about it was mysterious and wonderful. There is no logic behind it, the game is simply won purely by chance. An I like chances.
Chances are like new shoots sprouting up from the ground. In the spring everything gets a chance to regrow, renew, and often we find rebirth in our selves. We discover parts of our selves that laid in hibernation during the cold winter months, our toes revel in the sun, and our hearts are filled with hope. The spring air is filled with hope, with the static of thoughts muttered, and the anticipation of change.
Saturday I laid on the floor of Charlies down town condo, my game board in front of me, Minneapolis was glowing outside the windows and the TFC tower blinked like a beacon in the night. B14 I shouted with a grin. B14 Charlie, did I finally get a hit. With a giggle he said nope, you missed. It should be known that I rarely win at battleship. But this night proved to be victorious, the game went on for hours and I, I finally sunk all of his ships. Charlie rolled on the floor laughing at my excitement and said “God, I wish Connor was here to see you right now.” Soon my excitement dwindled, looking at the floor, I whispered I know Charlie, I know, I miss him. Charlie whispered back “I miss him to doll, I miss him too.”
I got up from our game and gazed out at the Minneapolis skyline. I had so many questions that have yet to be answered. Charlie stood by me and said ” ya know he was my brother, my best friend. I want to love someone the way Connor loved you. Amjay He loved you more than you could ever imagine.” Then why did he leave Charlie? One by one the sky scrapers lights were dimmed and now I looked into a black abyss. An Abyss that was unfamiliar and then I remembered that hot July day. That day was the last time I heard Connor’s voice.
Over the past year I played our last conversation over and over in my head. Did I even pause to ask Connor how he was doing, did I even say I love you as I hung up the phone, and did I tell him that he was one of my bestest Bffs? The questions will haunt me for eternity. All I can remember is telling Connor about my new singlehood, about my IKEA filled apartment, and about my BFF going awall. Telling him about the drama that played out one hot July day.
Charlie asked me as we looked out the window “what did you talk to Connor about that day?” I told him it was drama, meaningless drama. I explained how four people collided together into a dramatic rapture. Each having their own piece in the drama pie, each one over reacting, and under reacting at the sticky emotions that erupted before us. Of fake Twitter accounts, blog posts that wield hurtful words, distrust, hacked email accounts, and a friendship lost. Charlie cocked an eye brow “that makes no sense Amjay, no sense.” Charlie I know it makes no sense at all. But it happened and if you must know one of the people who caused it is two floors below us.
The funny part is, this whole dramatic situation really didn’t include me, I was part of the soup by association. Two people came to a head. A Geek and a girl needed to hash out their differences, their grievances, and emotions over a blog post. The whole thing was unsettled drama from the fall and it, it finally came to a head. They settled it and we moved on with our lives. Well mostly moved on, more words were exchanged, betrayal was shouted, and finally the friendship ended as quickly as it started. If I had to do it over again, I would choose the Attorney over wallowing over drinks in a bar.
Charlie quietly asked “and what did Connor tell you Amjay, what advice did he give you that day.” Looking Charlie in the eye, Connor told me to seek out the truth, to look in the mirror, and to reach out to the Geek. Reach out I did. Lucky for me she reached back and a friendship was born out of dramatic chaos. Something good came out of that hot July day and my life has been better because of it.
Connor often said life is like battleship, no one knows when the next peg is going to fall in place or when our ships will sink in turbulent rapture. We have to trust in our vessels and pray that they will carry us to our destination. That we dodge the bombs, the critics, and dance to our own tune. That each choice, guess, or assumption we make is a risk. A risk that is worth taking. Connor said to me once ” If you have one boat a float you are doing all right. Just ride this river until you reach your destination.”
I turned away from the windows and looked back at the game laying on the floor. I swear I heard Connors laughter in my ear. Charlie was looking at me and threw his arms around me. We stood there for a few moments in a tight hug and he whispered in my ear ” Love, as long as you play the game, you’re doing all right.” Tears melted on to my cheeks, I whispered back thank you, I needed that.