It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. In fact, it has been a few months since I have posted anything at all.
I have been writing, though. I have been working on my book. I have been editing a friend's screenplay. (It has a fabulous premise that hasn't been done in quite a few years.) I have been writing the contracts for my company that is only a few months old. I write down phrases and fragments of ideas I might write in the future.
My blogs, unfortunately, have been neglected.
It has not been for the absence of ideas, because I have several. I haven't been writing on my blog for the simple fact that I found it to be a waste of time. This time has been used to spend with my children. It has been spent on other writing endeavors, as stated above.
If you are reading this, you're probably thinking: "Why is he writing on his blog now?"
A fair question. I will answer it in a story.
About 6 weeks ago, I was doing a back story on one my characters for my book. My phone chirps to alert me on incoming text. I ignored it, as per my usual, and a few more texts come in. After about an hour, I finally checked my phone. Most of the texts were of the typical salutation types. Good morning, what's up?, Hey, How r u?, etc. There was the one text, however, that changed my view of life in a drastic and abrupt... way.
The text in question was from the little brother of my very long time friend. It read, verbatim: "Ray... John is gone..."
At first, I thought maybe he went on the trip he was planning. Then, I thought they were playing a prank on me, as they often like to do. Then there was the uneasy feeling that came over me that told me that this was no joke.
My response: "What do you mean... gone?" I was hoping it was on that trip, but I knew.
His response: "Did you read the news?" (I didn't.) "Shot in the head."
Now, to describe what I was feeling is a little difficult. It was a mixture of denial, sadness, anger, hopelessness, numbness, and disconnection all rolled into one.
Here was a man I knew for nearly 30 years, three - quarters of my existence in this world. We were at one time attached to the hip. We considered each other brothers, and each of our mother's saw the other as another son. A guy who had three children, a much younger brother, and a mother who counted on his presence. He never let them down. A man who just realized a dream, with me, to start our own company.
Then he was taken away. I don't mean God took him. I mean another person (sic) took him away. Murdered. He killed him because John wouldn't relent in giving up his possessions, which I would advise anyone not to do. The quality I most admired about him cost him his life. He was absolutely fearless.
Hundreds of people attended his wake. Family, friends, coworkers, some I didn't know too well, if at all. Even the ones who had past disagreements with John made an appearance to pay respects to a man, as they all agreed, that was a great human being.
What does this have to do with my blog? Well, the last conversation I had with John was about my writing. He wanted me to be the editor - in - chief of our company because part of the nature of web site design is writing. He wanted me to be in charge of contracts. He also wanted me to start a blog on our website pertaining to computers, with an occasional discretionary off topic post.
Lastly, he wanted me to continue my personal writing endeavors. My book, my screenplays, and my blogs. As he once stated: "As far as I could remember, you always had a pen in hand writing something down. Writing is so much a part of you. I always admired your talent. And I was jealous too. So continue being who you are. A guy who rarely said how he felt, but would express himself with the written word that got your attention."
So here I am, keeping a promise to a man I sincerely think would haunt me if I didn't. It is because of him, in both in his life and his passing, that I felt a swift kick in my ass. I sincerely hope I can live to the confidence that he had in me.
This post is dedicated to John Anthony Gray (Jan. 2, 1970 - June 2, 2011), my best friend, my fiercest rival, and one the greatest men I had the pleasure (and sometimes pain) to ever know. Rest in Peace, my Brother.