I apologize for my absence, but it couldn't be helped. A good friend of mine had a death in the family, so I had to go out of town to attend the funeral. It was one of those tragic stories where her uncle was standing outside making a phone call when he became the victim of a drive-by shooting. I'll never know what causes a person to grab a gun and shoot a complete stranger multiple times. Maybe complete insanity.
Anyway, in the years that I've known my friend, I never met her uncle. He was someone I knew about in passing, since she would often mention him. She and I always lived about a four-hour drive away from each other, so most of the time we talked over the phone. Usually, she would tell me some hilarious story about her favorite uncle. Even though our paths never crossed, her uncle often told her to tell me, his 'girl,' hello.
Visiting my friend's hometown again helped me realize that it's been 12 years since we first met. We became friends after living on the same floor freshman year and became so tight that we went to each other's hometown each summer. The first time I went to her place, it was the summer before 2pac and Biggie were assassinated (yeah, I said assassinated). Her uncle loaned her his car and the only cd he had was 2pac's All Eyez on Me. There was one song we played repeatedly, "Life Goes On." The chorus was: 'how many brothas fell victim to the street/rest in peace, young nigga there's a heaven for a G/be a lie if a I told you I ain't never thought of death/my niggas we the last ones left.' I had the pleasure of meeting some of her friends who nicknamed me PochaButtus, because of my growing booty. She even earned the moniker 2Plop Shitmore for her miraculous ability to eat and then disappear into the bathroom five minutes later. Good times.
We had our fair share of issues over the years. Family drama, school woes and man trouble usually kept us on the phone all hours of the night. These days we probably talk once a month about nothing in particular, but it always feels like not much time has passed. It's cool to see this woman -- who once wanted nothing less than Shemar Moore -- gush over her boyfriend. I even helped her drop some hints about how she envisioned her future wedding. I'm not sure if he was took the bait though. We'll see.
Both her uncle's wake and funeral were standing room only. Once it was over, we drove back to her place in silence. Leave it to me to break it by starting off with 'how many brothas fell victim to the street.' She tearfully joined in. After all, life does goes on.