Death Will Tremble

 “Il y a toujours après la mort de quelqu’un comme une stupéfaction qui se dégage, tant il est difficile de comprendre cette survenue du néant et de se résigner à y croire.”

“After a person dies, there is always something like a feeling of stupefaction, so difficult it is to comprehend this unexpected advent of nothingness and to resign oneself to believe it.”

-from Madame Bovary  by Gustave Flaubert

I’ve been wondering whether or not I should write about this for the past few days now. Part of me feels like it’s kind of cheap and exhibitionist to write about a lost friend…but a bigger part of me feels the need to, I don’t know, let it out. (So if I’ve seemed down and out of it lately, well, here’s why.)

It’s hard to describe how I feel right now, because it’s hard to describe the relationship we had. We were very close for a very brief period of time: we spent all day every day together for an entire summer, co-producing our silly movie and cracking each other up. We drifted apart after I moved to California, but when we did find the time to reconnect it was like no time had gone by, like nothing had changed.

And then I got the news that my young friend passed away. He was only 21.

I’m still in shock, to be honest. I didn’t know just how much it would hurt to lose him. We hadn’t talked in a couple months, but it didn’t change the fact that he meant a lot to me.

He was one of the good ones.

This is the only picture I have with him. Of course he's wearing that damn Cardinals jersey. When wasn't he.
This is the only picture I have with him. Of course he’s wearing that Cardinals jersey. When wasn’t he?

Now that he’s gone, all I want is to remember and savor the moments we shared, but I can’t think of our stupid inside jokes or on-set pranks or post-shoot dance-offs without getting super emotional. He was just so vibrant and full of life…and now he’s gone.

He threw up on my leg once, and I laughed harder than I’ve ever laughed in my whole life. He drove me home when I drank too much. He loved Donnie’s name and used to chant it every time I mentioned him (“Donnie DOWNS!“) He once liked every single Facebook photo I’d posted, just to smash up my notifications. He poked and teased and annoyed me just like the little brother I never wanted, but a little brother is what he became to me that summer.

I say little because he was several years younger than I am, but it didn’t matter–when you meet a kindred spirit, you just know. His youth didn’t make him any less important to me…it just makes the loss worse.

Honestly, I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with him. That summer was one of the best summers of my entire life, and he had a lot to do with that. I don’t really know what I’m hoping to accomplish writing about this…just to get it out of my system, I guess. “I’m just a fucked up girl looking for her own peace of mind,” after all.

But it’s been a few days since I found out and I’m just nothing but heartbroken. I want it to be not true. I want it to be a bad prank. I’ve dealt with a lot of death in my life, but it’s almost always been anticipated, or at the very least something part of me sensed was coming. But I wasn’t expecting to lose him. I wasn’t ready to. I wasn’t prepared for this.

bukowski quote
In loving memory of Scott Langfitt: 1992-2013. We laughed and lived while we had the chance.

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2 thoughts on “Death Will Tremble

  1. Bev

    Oof, what a gut punch–so sorry. And no worries; what you wrote was a heartfelt, beautiful tribute to your friend and what he meant to you–and that could never be cheap and exhibitionist unless you’re Jenna Maroney. And since you didn’t post a mascara-streaked, soft-focus youtube video of your karaoke version of “I Will Always Love You” while wearing only garters and a pillbox hat with a veil, I don’t think you’re her.

    I’ve never read Flaubert, but that quote is spot-on. We’ll hold your hand while your grief transforms to dear memory.

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