So today I find myself thinking of Charlie. Who is Charlie you ask? Charlie was my childhood best friend, we spent many a summer together, playing pool, smoking cigarettes (although we were both 18 at the time), and avoiding trouble at all costs. Most nights would end with Charlie and myself in a debate over the future of our lives; however, in the summer of 2004 Charlie's life was cut short, or more succinctly, he took his own life. As I look back at our times together one conversation plays out in my head over and over again.
It was the summer of 1998, I was working two jobs prior to going off to Towson University to obtain my degree in Computer Science, just as Charlie was to head off to College Park for his degree. We were reminiscing about our years in high school, and what things would be like at the 10 and 20 year reunion. What Charlie said struck me as profound.
"We'll all be successful failures" he told me.
"What do you mean by that?" I asked.
"I mean no one, not one of us, from our graduating class will go off to change the world. We pledge to do these great things, but in the end we will fall short. Of course we'll get married and have 2.5 kids, a dog, a house with a white picket fence, but in the end we'll be just like our parents...successful failures."
It's this conversation that has been running through my head today, as I think back on Charlie's life and the impact he had on all my friends. Try as I might...I too am a successful failure, for I have changed nothing...
rest in peace Charlie,
You are missed