It doesn't feel like it was that long ago. It feels like he just died. It feels like it all just happened.
I was going to meet him. That night. The night he died. I didn't know he was in the hospital. He didn't tell me. No one told me.
The last I had heard he was going to be house managing the show at Theatre B and I had tickets and we were going to go out after the show and talk about the show. And talk about Theatre B, because that was going to be the first time I was going to have gone to a show there. And it was his favorite place.
So, I was getting ready to go to the show and I received a phone call from someone at Theatre B. They said the show was canceled that night because someone in the ensemble had died. I expressed my condolences but was privately relieved because at least it wasn't Matt that had died because he wasn't in that show.
You see, I thought that the “ensemble” meant the people in the show, not the way that they meant it at Theatre B. I wasn't that familiar with Theatre B at the time. So when I hung up with the person from Theatre B, I immediately called Matt, to see who it was that had died and to see how he was taking it and to offer my condolences to him. He didn't answer. I didn't leave a message. He would see I had called from the caller ID on his cell and call me back. He was probably busy with other Theatre B people anyway. I would give him some space.
So the next day, I was getting the oil changed in my car. As I was waiting for that to be done I thought that when I got home, I would call the Matt's house because he hadn't called me back yet and I really wanted to talk to him about who had died. And Vel Rae would put him on the phone or tell me what was going on if he was too busy.
As I continued to wait, I decided to browse the Forum the have there. I opened up the front page and there was Matt. I was looking right at him. What the hell? Why was Matt on the front page? Then I read the headline and everything stopped. Well, everything else kept going but I don't really know what was happening.
It took me a few tries to actually read the story and comprehend it. I mean, how can this be real? We are the same goddamn age for Christ sake! He cant be dead. I'm sorry, that's more me now than me then.
I don't even know how I got the car home, really. It's a half hour drive, and I was pretty overcome by grief.
I didn't get a phone call from anyone, so I am glad I read about it in the paper. Though I guess I was going to call Vel Rae when I got home, so I would have heard about it then. I don't know how I would have handled hearing the news on the phone. I don't imagine I would have handled it very well.
For a short while I was offended that I wasn't asked to be involved at the ceremony until I realized that I wasn't in any shape to do anything. I was barely able to get up and say something.
I didn't really come out of shock until after the ceremony at NDSU. I don't even really know how I got the car home that day.
I do not mean to be overly dramatic about it. But like I said on the front page of the site. He really was my best friend. And I don't know when or how I will get over the loss.