It was a long spiral. The downfall started ten years ago and ended today. You could say he was a victim of Katrina, or a victim of bad decisions, or a victim of too many empty vodka bottles, or that he wasn't a victim of anything at all. No matter how thin you slice it, without Katrina he would still be among us.
A friend told me he didn't do anything untoward to himself, but he did. He didn't chew on a 12-gauge or cut himself, but he pulled the trigger on a vodka bottle everyday and, well, that's a hard way to go, too.
There won't be any parades for him, or national days of mourning, or candlelight vigils. But there will be sons and friends and moms and dads and sisters that have a void in them that he used to fill. Perhaps his legacy is that terrible monument of broken lives and lost dreams. Perhaps his legacy is a wonderful conviviality of good friends, good times, and camaraderie. It's too soon to tell and I'm uncertain if I'll ever know.
I hadn't seen him in twenty years. And I'll never see him again.
There is a place you can go where there are no troubles, no worries, no hurricanes, no ex-wives, no addictions. I hear there is only ebullience, laughter, and cheers. Save me a seat. Safe travels, Whitson. CEF
2 weeks ago