last thanksgiving my friends charlie and bonnie hosted Friendsgiving – an all night dinner for those of us who either dont have family here in LA or wanted to spend the holiday with friends.
because my mom lives in chicago and because im a single man something like Friendsgiving was the difference between something that could have been a hugely depressing day and something that was a beautiful evening.
many of our friends were there and many of them brought friends.
one of the friends of friends was a gentleman who i couldnt stop talking with. he was jovial and smart and funny and a little drunk and told me the most interesting stories about his very interesting job.
bros name was Christopher O’Leary and he worked as a behavioral scientist with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, specializing in sexually transmitted diseases, a field i was more than fascinated in talking to him about, for quite a while, as people in the kitchen with us prepared the two turkeys.
he was so open and so passionate and so frank about several of his most outrageous situations with people who were either so ignorant regarding HIV, AIDS and other diseases, or completely reckless.
eventually Chris’s wife came in to find out who had cornered her husband and when she heard our conversation couldnt believe that two people would want to talk about such a topic when the fragrant aromas of thanksgiving had filled the warm home, and wine flowed and friends reminisced and babies cooed and children laughed. but we went on and on because dude was clearly an expert not just in the diseases but in People.
yesterday charlie called me to ask me if i remembered Chris because he had been shot and killed the other day and after he refreshed my memory i was all, wait, THAT dude? That dude was awesome! and charlie said, yes, that dude.
according to the story in yesterday’s LA Times, Chris had gotten a full scholarship to attend UCLA where he graduated summa cum laude, then got a full ride at Michigan where he got his phd, he spoke four languages, and had committed his life to helping people.
then some 17 year old kid shot him dead while Chris was grabbing a smoke in his neighborhood. chris rarely smoked, and when he did he didnt smoke inside his house.
Jesus says that He will come like a thief in the night, meaning you dont know when the end is gonna come. the bible says to be ready.
the busblog says go for your dreams, today. because you can be 34, tall, handsome, married to a lovely woman, a new homeowner
and then suddenly dead in the street.
for no apparent reason.
no more saving the world.
no more friendsgivings
no more anythings.
we live in a confusing, freaky, fucked up place
identify your goals
and run to them.