“Josh shot himself in the head,” Genenda told me through the phone and shock.
“Oh my God,” I said, through my phone and my concern.
Concern and shock and tragically little surprise.
We had agreed, during our time of separation, to leave each other be (except for the every month or so when we talked about how that was working out). We did make the concession of phone calls to each other when things got ruff (despite everything, we still know how to comfort one another). This qualified.
My name is Josh…but “Josh” was Genny’s younger sister, Annie’s, former boyfriend and suddenly that coincidence seemed a lot less funny. A lot of things suddenly did.
Josh was Annie’s boyfriend and I think, at one point, they even tried living together. I had met him a couple of times. Apparently, he had some problems – depression and a family that threw him out of the house and a host of other things that I am only aware of in the periphery. He had some sort of breakdown and threatened suicide. He was let into some place for a while and Annie took care of him. Her parents were concerned. Concern blossomed into ugly bouquets of fear when he expressed his desire for Annie to join him in mutual suicide.
Things got weird.
He was no longer welcome at the house. He moved in with Genny and Annie’s grandmother.
Things got weirder.
He moved out.
Annie tried to help him, despite her family’s (understandable) misgivings. But things got weirder still and they split up. He’d try and contact her from time to time. Including last night. He called her, gun in hand, trying to get her to visit him. She stayed with friends instead.
Later they found him dead.
Apparently he had fired the gun, while talking to Annie, a warning shot. A cry for help type of deal. Later, his mother came out to try to talk to him and he shot at her. From here the story gets muddled and I don’t have any real facts or chronologies.
Then Genenda tried talking about “us.” But my mind wasn’t willing to switch tracks so easily. My thoughts still followed Josh, about things left unsaid. At the end, he was public enemy number one in that house (understandably), but what was his story? His mother did come at the very end (too little too late) but she threw him out and when they visited him in the hospital he would not speak with his dad. What’s the story there? Are there horror tales that will never be told because inqueries will quickly melt into “My condolences” and “I’m so sorry” and “You did the best you could” and “There was just something ‘not right’ with him.” I don’t know. I have no way of knowing. I only met him a couple of times.
And where is this person who shared my name now? What corner out of time? What did he accomplish. What did he hope to accomplish?
What did he get out of this?
A tiny footnote in the journal of a guy who barely knew him.