Alex was the first true friend I made when I moved to Myrtle Beach. He opened me up to hip-hop, The Boondocks, and marijuana. His smile was big, his laugh infectious. We didn't talk as much once he left the neighborhood, but he would still take the time to check in here and there. The last two times we spoke on the phone, he was high out of his mind. I thought he'd just gotten caught up in life, but it turned out he'd gotten caught up with something stronger. I saw him once before he died, when he left for the Army. He was clean and had cut off his signature dreadlocks. The last time I saw his face was in an open coffin. His service was in a small funeral home just off the highway. I made sure all the former kids from the nieghborhood got an obituary if they couldn't make it. His mom was honest in her suspicion as to cause of death, but she refused the autopsy. Some things should be left alone, she felt. I am inclined to agree. She lost a son, I lost a brother. That was all that truly mattered. I got dreadlocks in his honor, and had them for three years. I cut them off six months ago. He'd cut his own so he could move on with his life. It was time for me to let go, too.
Mike was another friend from Myrtle Beach. The first person to really push me to create, we had some rowdy times as well as some pretty manic ones. Mike believed in my words and he encouraged my vision. He was a wreck, albeit an especially talented one but psychoactive substances care little for skill sets. I didn't make it to his funeral. I was poor, had no car, and lived six hours away. I wish he knew that he inspires me every day. I hope his mom's okay. He'd be proud to know his brother is happy. Sometimes I think I hear him in my dreams, making one dumb joke after another, but that's probably just wishful thinking.
I miss my homies.