As a writer I thought words would be my first resort. I was wrong. For the expressions I hope to relay on this page comes only after the drought of my tear ducts, and the fighting of the urge to do nothing at all. But Iseah, my dear friend, our words now serve as your memorabilia, and the vessel for your immortality.
As I write this, I realize this entire piece will be a poor attempt to capture our brotherhood, because no sentence can accurately describe our bond. No phrase can express the feelings of elation that stormed over me whenever your face appeared in front of mine; or the extent of your embrace in the hugs we exchanged. My brother, we’ve had countless moments together, many of which I will keep silent from the world, so that they may be shared as whispers when we meet again. But for those I will not bury with me, I promise to share with the world in some way or form. It was you that told me upon reflection on our high school days; “We have so many stories together…if we don’t tell them, they mean nothing.” I wouldn’t put it beyond your wisdom that this is the moment you were alluding too.
But to tell you the truth Iseah, I’m not sure how to do that. I’m not sure how to tell the story of our first drinks, and almost being killed by so and so’s father for sneaking through her window at 3am. I’m not sure how to explain to the world our after-class discussions about A Separate Peace, and me admitting to you that I was the Gene to your Finny. I’m not sure how to paint the picture of our 2 am conversations in my basement, plotting on taking over the world by dropping our first mixtape because of the few likes our song got on Facebook. We called ourselves The D.U.O, standing for Divine Under Obstacles, raving that conscious hip hop was back. And years later when we laughed and reflected on our stupidity…I couldn’t admit out loud that I still thought it was a pretty cool name. I don’t think I’m capable of capturing all the scoldings from our teachers for talking too much, or laughing too loud, or not knowing the answer because our attention was focused on the doodles on your paper of all the teachers who scolded us. I’ don’t know if I could snap shot our conversations around C****’s ass, your perverted fantasy stories with your feet fetish, and the amount of stutters you mumbled when it came time to actually spit your game. I’m not sure if I can truly show the world a glimpse into our phone calls at 5am, venting to me about the crazy love triangles you were in. I doubt I can portray our days at work, with the prolonged breaks, giving out free groceries, or challenges to get the numbers of the many mothers that came on through. It’s probably impossible to describe our freshmen fashionista attitudes when we both agreed to do away with Jordan’s, though we never really stuck with it… But still we’d rock the skinniest jeans we could find, and shopped for clothes that were just different enough from the rest to make us trend-setters, but similar enough that we wouldn’t be labeled fuckboys. To our credit we were never labeled fuckboys, but we were deemed as the goofballs and nerds who dreamed too big, but jokes on them bro we glo’d up. There’s no way I can detail our cheating of laps at tennis practice, the secret impersonations of our coach, or our strategy to scare white opposing teams by purposely acting out the stereotypes, though we didn’t have a dangerous bone in our body. I don’t think I’m capable of describing to the world the excitement of receiving my little black robotic baby boy for our class assignment, and naming him Iseah as I promised to do with my real first born. My fake baby book was way too detailed, decorated in block letters with little Iseah’s birth date, birthplace, pictures and occupations of his parents. I wonder if Ms. Vogel still has it. I highly doubt I can describe the meaning behind our “Day 26” and “Blvck Skins” bonds with me, you, Zach and Tirelle; and how we promised our kids would be the reincarnation of our younger selves...minus our crazy nicknames that we gave each other. I’m not sure how to explain the devastation I felt when you moved to the rival high school, my 6 days a week of seeing you now divided in half. I’m not sure I could highlight the excitement I felt 2 years later when we discovered that we were going to be neighbors that summer. One thing I know for sure is that I can’t capture how smart, ambitious and full of life you were. How big your heart was. What your love meant for so many people. Or how much you inspired me to dream…How much you inspired me to write.
We lost touch at one point, our brotherhood brought into question. Those times I refuse to bring to light, because last night upon hearing about your death those were the moments that I had immediately forgotten. The love was always there, though our communication was not the same. We disagreed on a number of things, and our circle soon grew smaller, for a moment you left on the outside. I then left again for college. As I became busier and came home less often, our phone calls turned into conversations through direct messages on Twitter; telling me about how proud you were of my accomplishments. That you missed the old times when we were young and naive. That you cleaned up your act and things were finally looking up…about how we would reunite on Thanksgiving break and that you wanted to read my newest work. I promised you a few weeks ago I’d send them your way…I never did. Because like the selfish person I am, I became warped in my work at school, losing sight of the fact that it all means nothing to our ultimate goal. That it all means nothing if I shrug off the people I love. That it all means nothing…because what means everything to me I now realize are the ones I love that I never call to say I love you enough. I never told you I loved you enough…and to be frank I don’t know how to show how much I do in the stories I write. But I’ll try. I’ll try for you… I’ll try for us. Because if I don’t tell our stories then they mean nothing…even if I’m the only one who reads them.
Shawn "Simba" Boursiquot.