Wednesday, February 29, 2012


 I wrote this for my university's newspaper, for a column entitled 'Gribble Dribble'.  I'm well aware how bad that title is.
      There’s been a lot of news lately about death and destruction.  Last week, in a Cleveland Ohio adjacent high school a student opened fire, injuring five and killing three classmates.  Furthermore, 13 people died in storms that struck the Midwest.  Though, it isn’t all bad news as North Korea has finally agreed to conclude their nuclear testing, which means we no longer have to worry about that particular country bombing and killing thousands of our citizens. 

     The point is that the potential is there for too many people to be dying.  Natural disasters notwithstanding, there are no excuses for human beings to die for any reasons other than disease or famine.  We are technically animals, and other species do not kill one another unless it is over a territory dispute or for nourishment.  As long as we’ve all declared ourselves as a non-cannibalistic people, with well defined national borders, there should be no reason for one man to even think of killing another. 

     I’m not saying that these three groups didn’t have what they considered to be good reasons to do what they did.  Maybe the Ohio student was a victim of bullying, which made him pull the trigger.  Maybe North Korea felt threatened by other nations which spurred them to researching bomb making.  Maybe the weather felt threatened by mudslides and brushfires, and wanted to show them whose boss.  I have no clue as to why anyone or anything would choose to end a life; I just know that it has to stop. 

     Whatever happened to live and let live, or the golden rule, or cliché’s of the like?  When did we decide that we have the power to make these decisions?  Not to play into religion, but I’m pretty sure we are not intelligent enough to be making these kinds of choices, on who is or is not allowed to live.  And, sure natural selection is partly at play, but I think that all of us are mentally fit enough to decide that we do not want to perish.  So, why should it be that anyone else gets to end your life?

    We need to get the guns off the streets, and out of the hands of children.  We need to get the plutonium (or whatever those crazy terrorists are using to make bombs these days) off of the black market.   We need to get stronger Doppler radar and storm shelters.  We need to stop dying for needless reasons.  We need as many people alive as possible in case we do revert back to that whole cannibalism thing, because groceries are expensive. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

All of our friends will go away, they're going to better places

I hope you'll excuse me if this post is scattered, but I can't seem to find an orderly way to say what I mean right now.  

Son Tran,

God, I hate that I'm writing this.  It feels like a goodbye letter, and I can tell you that the last thing I want to say to you, is goodbye. 

I think you would hate the idea of me writing about you.  Sure, you'd like the attention, but you probably wouldn't agree with anything I said.  You'd ask me to take it down, I'd say no.  You'd end up blackmailing me saying that you'd start a vicious rumor about me around the Mass Communications department.  I'd eventually cave and take it down.  That's how it would've played out.  I know you too well. 

God, I'm going to miss you Son Tran.

I've got to write this to you before I become to be too far away from it.  I don't mean to say that in a week's time I'll have gotten over it, but instead that every day that passes, every second that ticks by leaves me further away from you.  It's been five days, and already I feel that my memories of you are fading.  Yesterday I couldn't recall what your laugh sounded like.  This morning I found myself thinking about what you might say in a specific situation, and I couldn't for the life of me find your words. 

I just think that you should know that you were my closest friend.  Though I've had friends I've known longer, that have proved themselves to me countless times, you were my closest friend.  You were the one who was able to keep up with my day to day ridiculousness, the one who had to put up with me on a regular basis.  You  handled it deftly, like no one else could.  For that, I thank you. 

I don't think I've ever felt this alone.  It's not that I'm just sad that you won't be my constant companion anymore.  I can deal with being alone, what I can't deal with is you not being here at all.  I'd gladly take a world in which you were still here, even if it were a world in which we never knew each other.  Because the world needs you in it.  I could handle not knowing you, if it meant that someone else got to experience what it was like to be your friend. 

Saturday night Katie tried to get me to get a tattoo to commemorate you.  I knew I didn't need to do that, because I don't need any further reminders that you're not here.  I don't need a badly inked scar to remind me that you're gone.  It's only been five days, and yet I can feel it everywhere.  The night you died, I studied for a government test with the notes you took last semester (and they were laden with the profanity the world had come to expect from you).  Saturday while serving as a pall bearer at your funeral, I wore the suit you helped me pick out last February when I was a pall bearer at my grandmother's funeral.  Today I ate the Vietnamese food that I love, that I never would have tried in the first place without your insistence.  Simply put, you are already everywhere.  I cannot escape the person that you helped me to become. 

And you did help me become this person.  I've known you so long that you are a part of me, a part of who I am.  When I met you, you were the boy who passed out fortune cookies form his backpack between classes.  The boy who created line dances during second lunch. The boy who let me know that it was okay to be different, to be loud and unruly, to be myself a hundred percent of the time.  And then you were the man who smoked too much, the man who did what he wanted, damn the consequences.  As much as I had learned from you in the past, you also became somewhat of a cautionary tale of sorts, the kind in which a person has too much freedom, and no idea what to do with it.  You died the way you lived, independent and reckless. 

I haven't quite grasped the concept that you're no longer here.  I can't think of you in past tense yet.  It's still "he is, he does", instead of "he had, he did", and it's going to be hard to start thinking of you as a part of my past.  I just can't make sense of this.

Though, if there's one last thing I'd like to tell you, it's of a memory I have.  A couple of weeks ago you were having a particularly bad day, and you called me to talk you down from your crazy as you usually did.  I don't know how we got on the topic, but I mentioned how fortunate I believed myself to be to call you my friend.  I told you that I know how seldom we get to choose who our friends are.  It's not up to us to decide, usually.  I did not seek you out, but it happened anyways.  I said that even if I had been able to choose my friends, I would have still picked you.  I'd pick you, again and again, no question.  So, I'd like to thank you Son Tran for coming into my life, and tell you that I'll never forgive you for leaving it so soon. 

Your Friend, Jordan Gribble

Sunday, February 12, 2012