Jason McCarty.

Posted on 26.12.2016

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I don’t really know what to say, except to say that my friend is dead. He was one of the people who died in the Oakland, California Ghost Ship fire.

When news of the fire first broke, my first thought was that it could have been any of us. All those years ago. All those nights and days spent with friends in different art warehouses in Baltimore.

(photo taken from his Facebook page)

(photo taken from his Facebook page)

And then, a week later, it turned out that it was. It had been. It was him.

Him, the first friend I made at college, aside from my new roommates.
Him, the one I wanted so badly to like me, to think I was interesting.
Him, the one who moved in across the hall from me, when my parents said I could only live on my own if I got a male friend to live nearby.
Him, who I cooked dinner for every week. Whose apartment I went to when I was sad.

Him, running in the rain with me back up to the dormitory. We both laughed at how romantic this would be, if only we were dating.

The beautiful one who drew me in the dark. The one who let me lay crying in his bed. The artist. The real artist. The musician. The noise-maker. The only one I thought could actually make it, and make a change.

And here I am, signing thank-you cards. And he is dead.

I am walking down the street to go to the shop. And he is dead.

I’m filling in my schedule for January, and he’s not alive anymore.

It seems so unfair that I’m here doing such mundane, mostly unnecessary stuff, and he is no longer breathing. He isn’t making music or noise, or telling me to live in the now, or inspiring the people around him. He’s not. He’s gone.

In a stupid fire that could have taken any of us. A poorly-maintained warehouse, where so many artists live and make art. A fire that could have been prevented. People who could have lived, and kept going on with their lives to make art and music and beautiful things. And now they’re gone. Simply for being there.

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Posted in: art, death, friends