by Lynn Kim Do

Street Talk | R.I.P. Friend

Yes, he’s gone. No, I can’t believe it? Yeah. me neither. How could he? I can’t say. How are you? I’m fine. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I don’t know. How did he do it? Suicide. I just can’t… Yeah, I know. I just saw him… I know. Did you know what he was goin’ through? Inner demons. He was on cloud nine when I saw him. I guess he was good at that. He was also so strong, a strong figure in my life. He was a strong figure in many lives. I feel so bad. Don’t, it’s not your fault. I just can’t wrap my head around it. I know. It’s just young people shouldn’t die, you know. Yeah. I should’ve been there more. Don’t think like that. Maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference. He was never alone, at least he shouldn’t feel that way but he did. I should’ve showed it more, appreciated it more. He knows, he feels your love…before, now, and forever. I’m going to throw up. Hey, I have to go…I have a couple more calls to make. Let me know if you need anything, anything at all. Thanks.


Silence strikes me suddenly as I begin to finally feel the pressure of 17 sheet rocks on my shoulder. By now, it has already formed irrevocable damage. Damage below the black and blue that can’t be seen. They haven't made anything advanced enough to measure the torn ligaments, the broken bones, and the ripped tissues that exist in my mind. It has been six days since I heard the news, six days until I had the opportunity to sit with myself. To deal with myself. My mind is spraining, doing a mad dash to catch up with my body. Desperately throwing itself to the finish line, head first towards the reality it tried so hard to ignore, to step away from. My body vibrates.

Flipping through thoughts of himof anger, his smile, his aggression during the past month, the birthday song we serenaded to him off-key, his lies, his bear hugs that would leave your feet hanging several inches from the ground, his love for music, oh, how he loved music so much, our fights via texts, and then suddenly I remember his text message from February 10th. He had sent me a link to a song, which we do often, giving each other the gift of music, clever lyrics, from complicated creatures, much like ourselves. The requirement includes tragic undertones and dope beats. Except a month ago, I didn’t listen to the song. I never do that. I let it simply just pass me, no second thoughts until now. Something has possess me to scroll back pages and pages of texts to recover the largest foreshadowing. It takes me to another page, and then another, and then to the song, the melody takes me, but wait…I know this song. The song has sat in my playlist, comfortably, for at least a year now. At least, at least. 

Bloodsport by Raleigh Ritchie   

Nothing is perfect but your imperfections are quaint
That's how the song starts. And without context, it first feels like you are referring to my imperfections, if you are, indeed, the narrator, but oh, what irony. You were thinking about yourself, your own imperfections. And mine. And everyone you have ever laid eyes on, exchanged paths with, and spoke to. Their beautiful and tragic imperfections. Weyou and Ifound comfort in imperfections, cherished them, and drafted fictional novels out of them. Created heroes and heroines out of them. That was how we bonded, how our friendship started... 

If I fall short, if I break rank // It's a bloodsport, but I understand // I am all yours, I am unmanned // I'm on all fours, willingly damned  
Desperate, I feel. I can feel how desperate you may have felt. I can feel all your reservoirs, your control, drying up. Oh, it hurts. A bloodsport, a war. Blood, blood. Some of your last texts were angry, you were fed up. Fed up of your kindness being mistaken for weakness. You were at war. With everyone. With yourself. Forget what you knew, what I knew, but what it is that feels. Primal. Yet, you don’t seem foreign. Afterall, our friendship left all sides open to interpretation, to be seen. I just was never too fond of this one, this side of you. And for good reasons…

Although you love me, sometimes we're mean // Things can get ugly, but, we're still a team // We are an army, that breaks from within but // That's why we're stronger, and that's how we'll win 
We were crazy. Neurotics assholes, laughing all the way up the elevator to your 11th floor, on slippery cobblestones in Meatpacking at 5AM, hackling and cackling away right in front their faces, whoever they are—friend or foe. And amidst that, all that laughter, I hate you right now. I hate the way everyone’s pain sits in their throats like one too many drinks at Ryan’s Daughter, the bar you cherished, the bar we trek to at 1AM on a Monday, on a snowy day, on any day, you name it, and I’m-there-kinda days. I hate you. I do. Oh god, your lies. Your lies burn like water on a hot skillet, like acid, like sudden life-taking cancer. But I return. Because I remember. How preposterous we are as individuals. And how nutty our friendship must have seemed. Perfect, perfect…we were partners in crime, a dream team of two, a duo that Warhol & Basquiat would have envied. You and I, we are creators and inspirers, respectively—the world within our fingers. I'm sorry, the world was within our fingers.  
I've got your back, and though it's stacked against us, // I've got your hand, it's us against consensus, and I will burn, // The people who hurt you the worst and I will not learn // Cause I am too young and too dumb to consider the terms 
And our individual lifestyles brought love, and it brought hate. If you want to say something to him, you can say it to my face! I remember that one cold evening several winters ago, when all I saw was red. Any wrong thing that ass-licker did to you, he has also did it to me ten-folds. He has no idea what kind of evil is packed neatly in a 5’4” little girl. Nor does he want to find out. But this poor sucker who had the misfortune of overstepping his boundaries by standing remotely near our breathing space has offended me. Wrath. No, it doesn’t matter if his enemy, now my enemy, has stabbed you in the back, maybe, six months ago, a year ago, or ten years ago. I will kill. And I know that you—my best friend, my mentor, my protector—would willingly shift the planet counterclockwise if you knew it would make me smile. On Sunday February 28th, you called me as I stood in the middle of Pell St. just to simply ask "Would you like to fuck shit up with me?" I said, "I like the sound of that."  We have always had each other’s back, like comrades in battle. Defensive to a maniacal degree.  

Anyway what I'm trying to say is I'll protect you til the day I meet my maker // So don't fight me now cause you might need me later 
And perhaps, you’re with our Maker now but I have a feeling you’re stubborn-ass is still going to be around, whether I like it or not, preventing me from stepping on the cracks in the sidewalk and whispering in my ear when I get into my own head, talking me out of it, giving me a hug, and picking me back up. This isn’t goodbye, Ommy friend. This is just part of our story—Maktub. 

Loving you's a bloodsport // Fighting in a love war // It's not what I'm in love for, I'm yours, // But I don't know if you can help it, maybe I'm just being selfish, // Loving you's a bloodsport