September 2, 2021

Up on the Roof & Reflecting on a Friend’s Suicide.

It’s 8 p.m. and the sun has almost set in the beautiful, glorious Surf City of Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

I am house (and pet) sitting exactly four houses away from the Atlantic Ocean—it’s spectacular.

The sounds of waves crashing (almost deafening) blocked out all the noise and chatter—not only from the people hanging out and partying at nearby houses and bars, but also in my own head.

For me, as someone with chronic attention deficit disorder, that’s huge. It’s really hard for me to get even close to silence, even when I’m experiencing silence as defined by the average Joe.

I mean, really, is there such a thing?

I am on the third-floor porch of my beloved friends’ perfectly appointed abode looking across the way and see a man. A young-ish man, on the same level as me, up on the roof pacing with his hands clasped behind him above his lower back, his head hung low.

He looks sad. Maybe really sad, I fear.

A lifetime friend of mine committed suicide just nine months ago. On the surface, none of our friends would ever say that she and I were alike. She was bubbly and carefree AF. Period. Me: fiercely independent, introverted, single, empathetic, entrepreneurial momma. But on the inside, we could definitely go toe-to-toe on so much.

Anxious me, with relatable trauma of my own, couldn’t help but feel this human was going to jump and take his life.

Having lived in New York City for many years and around all kinds of ugly, it just didn’t feel right for this to be a possibility down here. Down the shore, where everyone comes for fun, relaxation, and to escape from the well-known COVID-19.

So now it’s 8:30 p.m. and there are no more sounds of neighbors and visitors at the nearby bars. They just seemed to all have gone away. Maybe happy hour ended?

Or maybe they all needed to relieve their babysitters or go home to make dinner?

I don’t know, but it felt sudden.

The sun was orgasmically full and red. Well, maybe more like blood orange.

Is it another full moon?

The full moon always gets me (if only I could meet a guy like the moon). No matter what—always and forever—he just shows up. He may not always be fully bright and smiley, but never unkind and infinitely loyal. Anytime I want or need him, I just look up. He’s there and I feel safe.

Also, my friend across the way has disappeared. Maybe, hopefully, he is okay and was just, perhaps, up on the roof meditating, thinking, talking to himself—just up on the roof.

All I hear now is the magnanimous sound of the waves crashing on the shore.

The temperature of the air has dropped fast by 30 degrees, and the sky has darkened.

I am getting tropical storm alerts on my phone to take cover, so I do.

~

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