Thursday, May 17, 2012


Middle schoolers are weird. They do bizarre things, they think the stupidest things are funny, and, to the outside world, they are simply ridiculous. When I was in middle school, my friend, Martin, created T.O.A.S.T.  For the life of me, I cannot remember what T.O.A.S.T. stood for, but there was a very complex hierarchy. King, princess, dutchess...we all had a role. Well, I didn't at first. I was on a different "team" in 6th grade, so I wasn't part of this from the beginning. In 7th grade, while still on another team, I somehow became the "secretary" of T.O.A.S.T. while Martin was the president. (How or why it transitioned from a monarchy to a democracy, I have no clue.) Our prominent positions in T.O.A.S.T. gave us lots of opportunities to write notes about nothing and pass them in between classes (oh, the days before text messages), and a crush developed.

Martin asked me to "go out" with him in December. We passed notes more notes about T.O.A.S.T. I was invited to the movies (along with all of our friends) to see a sci-fi movie (in retrospect and a with a little help from Google, I suspect it was Star Trek: Generations) for Martin's 13th birthday. I could not attend (dance rehearsal, no doubt). We went on a drama club field trip together (also, along with all of our friends), where we were pressured to hold hands and sit together on the bus. We were both embarrassed, and broke up just days later. We went out a total of 2 1/2 weeks and did not actually speak to each other the entire time.

Martin and I remained friends throughout high school, and even some of college. We were both in marching band (I on color guard, him on drumline) and had an interest in drama (although his petered out in high school). I believe he and another friend conned me into going to see one of the Jurassic Park movies in high school when I refused to go with my then boyfriend. In college, I went to see his band play several times during summer break. There was a mild flirtation there, but it seemed we were never available/interested at the same time. We lost touch for a while, but when his mother passed back in March, he hugged me like there was no lost time. I offered to get coffee, a drink, or lunch sometime soon, and he nodded.

Last Thursday, Martin died. We still don't know the circumstances surrounding his death, and probably never will. His father found him sitting a his desk, dead. A few weeks prior, he had some tests run for a possible aneurism, and even though an autopsy was performed, we still don't know anything. He was heart broken after his mother's death-I've never seen anyone look so rough-so I'm content to believe he died of a broken heart. Nothing else seems plausible.

Martin was a free spirit. A creative and fun loving soul. He loved life, laughter, and music, and he spread this to all who were around him. Even though we have been out of touch for so long, there is a huge hole in my heart knowing there is no more Martin in the world. It seems so unreal. I met up with some old high school friends at the visitation tonight, and we kept commenting on how we expected it to be a joke, and Martin to sit up at any moment. As sick and twisted as that would be, it never happened.

The world has lost one of it's brightest lights. Martin, I hope you are enjoying being reunited with your mother. We all miss you both. 

And tomorrow morning, I shall dine on toast alone for breakfast.

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