Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Some Small Hotel In Texas

I casually dated a boy in college named Zach. He had shiny long hair to his chin that he used to sweep out of his eyes in a sexy kind of hard-ass way. He had smooth skin and wore a cowboy hat sometimes while he smoked his cigarette out in the Minnesota snow.

This boy wasn't from around here. I guess the cowboy hat should have tipped you off. He used to smoke that cigarette like James Dean with a slow and steady draw in. Squinting his eyes and then letting it seep out. I've never though cigarette smoking was at all attractive. But this boy - wooo weee.

He had a small superman logo tattooed to meaty part of his arm. I used to run my finger over it - it was so ironic in so many ways.

Zach was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. He was attending my private lutheran college because of a special program they had there for people like him. It was a second chance at an education and a life.

I should tell you that Zach had a girlfriend. I was the other woman. I wasn't the only one. Zach had a way with women and it was amazing. He didn't purposefully seek them out. It's as if they are drawn to him, at least I was.

We had only a few intimate encounters until I found out from another person that he had Hepatitis C and it freaked me out beyond belief. He swore that he new about the disease and that he knew that I couldn't get it. I was angry and went directly to the Dr. I didn't get the disease, but it was a rude awakening about life. I require a testing before coming near anyone now.

I watched Zach get yellow with jaundice from his disease. I watched him go through violently ill nights and days from the medication.

Zach beat Hepatitis C. I just want to re-assure you right now that Zach did not die as a result of this. He fought and fought hard and he beat it completely. Which is un-heard of.

I graduated from college. Zach fell away as most acquaintances do after college. I heard through the grapevine about a year later that he had decided to go to seminary. Which I thought didn't quite fit him, but understood why he might feel the need to seek out the God that saved him.

Then I saw him at the weightroom at the school one day. I sometimes used the weight room even though I had graduated. He said his girlfriend had confessed to him that she was a lesbian. On top of that, she was pregnant with his baby.

Seems like a soap opera doesn't it? It was real life for Zach.

He told me he was going to try and live in the same house with his ex-girlfriend and her partner. So that he could help with the pregnancy and birth of his child.

Then he fell off the face of the earth. One day out of the blue I got a call from Zach. He wanted to hang out and go get a drink with me and Nene. I was shocked since I had always known him to be sober. He told me that he had decided to drink socially only. This raised big red flags for me - but I agreed to meet him anyway.

When he showed up - I nearly fell off my chair. He was thin, his hair greasy and scraggly. His face marked with acne and his eyes sunken into dark circles. He looked like the walking dead. I tried not to say anything. All I said was, "WOW you look really different!"

We had a few drinks with him and then escaped soon after. I knew something wasn't right and I didn't want to be involved. I asked him as we were parting "so...are you ok?" He shrugged, kissed me on the cheek and drove away.

Zach died a year ago August. I heard about it in September but didn't have anyway of getting in touch with someone who would know anything about it. I found a website of a friend of his and called him last night.

He told me that Zach died of an overdose on Heroine. That his ex-girlfriend hadn't given birth to their baby yet when he had died. Apparently it was in some small hotel in Texas (where he's from). There was a small funeral in Texas last year with only a few people.

The friend told me that he has to believe he's in a better place now. He has to believe that Zach wasn't made for this earth as he struggled with demons throughout his stay here. He told me that he lived in Hell on earth and that anything is better than that.

R.I.P. Zach I hope you've found peace and love.


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