I've loved a missing person
His name was Glen, the twin brother of one of my closest friends. Our relationship was brief, even though we had lived together for a while as platonic friends and roommates, but once we were together it was amazing. We never fought, got along famously, and had everything in common.
Unfortunately for the two of us: We were both young and stupid. We partied a lot, were irresponsible, did drugs (I was barely an adult [still a teen]) and lived for the next tattoos on our wishlists. It was because of this that we ended up separated early into our relationship. First it was due to an arrest that put over three hours between us, which may as well had been 1,000 miles since neither one of us had a car. He was jailed on an underage drinking warrant from before we met that had caught up with him, so we were separated for many, many weeks.
I waited for him, and we were reunited after he managed to catch a bus back up to the mountain from the city where he was staying with a sister after his release. Unfortunately, our happy reunion was destroyed when he confessed to me that he had cheated on me not long after his release from jail in Maricopa County. I was devastated. I was faithful to him, and I was confused by him claiming that he loved me when he was willing to ruin it all with casual sex with someone else.
I left him then, immediately moving on to a rebound relationship -- which proved to be nothing more but a launchpad into a series of terrible relationships with abusive men or men who simply were not good for me. And in a matter of two months I was still unable to forgive Glen when he spoke to me on the phone, wanting to "come see me," from the valley where he had moved after we broke up. I told him no. I told him that I had moved on with someone who wasn't a cheater and a liar. Told him that I never wanted to see him again.
I was lying. I loved him still. I missed him. But I was hurt. I didn't know that this would be the very last chance to speak to Glen. I was so hardheaded and unable to forgive him then, that I didn't care about how my rejection had actually hurt him, and I heard it in his voice as he muttered his goodbyes, hanging up the phone.
Nearly a year of time passed that I had not heard from Glen. I moved back in with my family in the mountains after leaving another boyfriend, one who had harmed me for several months. While recovering from that relationship I began to miss Glen, and wondered where he was. I wondered if he was in Phoenix or if he had moved back to New York where he was from.
Unfortunately, I was not the only person wondering where Glen had gone. He had been missing for many months by the time I returned home. Nobody knew where he was, not even his twin sister, and they were closer than any two people could be. They were best friends who doted on one another and who never went longer than a month or so without talking. When I learned that he had not even talked to Tammy in many months, I felt lost. I felt empty. I felt a combination of so many feelings mixed with so much confusion that it is just impossible to sum up in words. I truly know what it's like to feel so completely helpless when you can't find someone, when you don't know how to even begin looking.
All any of us could do was hope that Glen would just walk up one of our driveways carrying his big green duffel bag, like he had done every time he traveled.
Many more months passed. I am not sure how many months went by, but I grew restless on the mountain. So I left. I met a new boyfriend -- who also turned out to be a douchecanoe -- and I moved to Hollywood, California where I continued being completely stupid, young and irresponsible. I pretty much lived at bars, which were serving me illegally since I was barely 20 years old. Life was just about drinking, drugs and reading tarot cards for money to drunk people and hanging around the worst neighborhoods in H'Wood and Los Angeles.
I was at "The Chicago Bar" when I found out what happened to Glen.
The Chicago Bar was a small indoor-outdoor bar that was stuffed into a strip mall that made up of tattoo shops, a donut shop and a Chinese restaurant. It was where I spent pretty much every single night to the point that every bartender knew me. I was friends with all the bouncers. Even the owner of the bar knew me, giving me my own table out on the patio that was always available. It was usually a place where I watched bands performed while reading tarot to the pub regulars. But that night I was told by the bartender that my 'mum' had called and she sounded upset. I was told to call her immediately, so I jogged to the payphone a building away, stuffing I-don't-remember-how-many quarters into the thing since it was a long distance call and I didn't have my own mobile at the time.
When she answered, she didn't waste any time telling me that Glen had been hit by a car just days prior, and he was in a vegetative state. She told me that his parents were pulling him off of life support just shortly after identifying him -- for he was listed as John Doe in the hospital where he was rushed after the horrible accident. I still do not know exactly what happened, but he was possibly hitchhiking back to New York where his mother was. The accident took place in Virginia when he was crossing a busy highway. The accident was just that: An accident.
His life, for the numerous months that he was missing, is a mystery. Did he have a girlfriend? Was he happy? Did he miss me or his family like we all missed him? I have no answers. I have nothing but ashes tattooed into my back to remember him. And I know that no matter how impacted I am by this loss, his twin sister has been rocked to her very core -- barely able to recover and move on with her life after losing her other half. When someone you love goes missing, I don't think you ever, ever, ever get over it or move on. It's something that sticks with you forever. The same certainly goes for when they're found deceased or fatally injured. It's something that never leaves the back of my mind. I know it never will.