I can say without hesitation, I never bowled that night.
What did happen on this night was I came out of the closet to my friends riding down Erie Ave with me in my red Buick Century. We were lost and I just kind of blurted it out. They didn’t miss a beat though.
Those smiles are genuine, we had a fucking ball that night.
In the bottom left corner, in the black shirt is one of the biggest smiles of them all. That’s Don, a.k.a. Smoke, The text came in this afternoon – Don passed away.
We were Squad. Our numbers grew and shrunk over the years. Faces came and went. We were young though. In our 20s mostly professional absolutely degenerates…..in a good way.
We partied hard, we loved hard. Don maybe more than all of us. He was always there with a laugh, joke, a hug if you needed it. Even though we all grew older he remained young in spirit. Our squad moved on to other careers, families. Even Don settled down and got married to a wonderful woman.
I last saw him about 3 years ago. My life since 2007 didn’t allow me a lot of debauchery time. It was a get together at Don’s out West. The squad was in the house. Well lots of us. They even found a VCR to play tapes of our old ski trip days.
I laugh through tears now as I remember Don in the hallway of the Friar Tuck Inn, butt naked, dick swinging. Butta was screaming up the hall for Don to put some damn clothes on, the rest of us laughed saying that’s just Don.
He teased me too much about my sexual conquests but he also cared about me like a sister. He was fucking awesome and it’s hitting me harder than I thought. We – the squad his family and planet earth – lost one of the good ones.
I’ll dance to this one last time for you Smoke. I loved you big guy, we all did.