“I felt what we always feel when someone dies—the sad awareness, now futile, of how little it would have cost us to have been more loving. One forgets that one is a dead man conversing with dead men.”—Jorge Luis Borges, “There Are More Things” (via mrmullin)
I met Chloe on the steps in front of The Temple in Brooklyn. Up until I dug through her archived website from the early 2000’s yesterday, I had completely forgotten the name of that venue. It was there I first saw my friend’s band, Who Farted? in the year 2000. A few years later, it was at that same venue that I first attempted to enjoy drinking Bacardi 151.
The day I drank the Bacardi while cringing was the day I met Chloe, and the two experiences couldn’t have been more different. In my mind she still appears the way she was dressed that day; loose flared light blue jeans and a white tank top, with her hair up in a short pony tail. While I remember those details for what seems like no apparent reason, it’s probably because they were worn by a person with such beautiful expressive eyes and such a huge, sometimes shy, smile. Maybe I remember that moment so vividly because it was right then and there that I had made the decision to be her friend.
Our group of friends was large; some of us from Queens, some of us from Brooklyn, but we all flocked in one big group, from show to show. The summer of 2002 was definitely a lot of fun, but it was one of those summers you can’t replicate. I guess we all grew up and grew apart. I stopped keeping in touch with virtually everyone in that group for one reason or another, but I stayed in touch with Chloe, mostly via the internet. Ever since I met her I had made it a point to visit her website, reading each and every post. Yesterday, when I revisited her blog posts, I found myself remembering when I first read them. I always wondered how Chloe was able to create so much so well from such a young age. I could never grasp web dev, knitting intimidated the crap out of me, and I still think she’s one of the best writers I’ve ever read.
When I deleted facebook, I was relieved to see that I still had her (really easy to remember) phone number. A few years ago, when my boyfriend and I traveled to Portland, we visited her and spent time roaming from north to south on the west side of the city. That day made me realize that I had been missing out on valuable Chloe time. Between then and when she moved back to the city, I met with her when she would come back and visit her dad.
For whatever reason, I thought that after I lost my friend German, that his would be the last suicide I’d have to deal with. Our teenage years are over, our early twenties are over. I am so naive. I just keep going over in my head how people who look so happy, and can smile from ear to ear with ease, aren’t supposed to take their lives. But what was going on behind that smile is what she never let people in on.
The last time I saw her, she thanked me for a fun night, complimenting me on my Lorde hair and my boyfriend on his sense of humor. I thanked her for her beautiful smile and told her how I felt about her in a way that may have sounded creepy had I not known her for so long. We chatted frequently after that, and last month, she cancelled dinner plans on us. Now, I wish I had forced my way into hanging out with her that night regardless. Last week, I wrote to her, and there was no response. On Sunday, I wondered why she hadn’t written back. On Wednesday morning, I woke up and thought of her almost instantly. On Wednesday afternoon, I found out, via twitter, that Chloe had passed.
I will always miss you Chloe, and I still feel as if I’ll see you in a few months.