I just heard tonight that someone I knew from when I was a teenager had died through drugs. His name was Keith.
Keith was at 16, everything I aspired to be. He was taller and thicker set, strong and fit, mean and quick witted. Although we were friends I looked up to him a little without letting him know I did. More people wanted to be his friend, girls flocked round him and there were many who respected him or indeed, were afraid of him. I was never jealous, just slightly bitter that I’d been born short and skinny and dull witted.
We grew apart as lads do, I got married and had 3 kids then divorced and we got together after the divorce and drank a lot for a few weeks. He was clearly unhappy and weirdly, stated that he was envious of the life I had! I said anyone can go straight and do well for themselves, they just have to want to. After a while I got my head together and went to Uni and lost track of him again. I do know he was still til then being violent as he had to be to continue his life of drug dealing. We kept bumping into each other over the years but as I live this roaming lifestyle now I haven’t seen him in about 3 years.
So tonight I get a text to say he’s died doing what he did, drugs.
Although I’ve thought it before over the years, I think it so clearly now, that really he should have aspired to be me, not the other way around. Yeah I’m sure most people will say of course! But sometimes you need things to put your life into perspective. I wish I knew when I was 16 what I know now, although sometimes I truly think ignorance really is bliss.