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Mr. Green

Jan. 6th, 2015 05:41 pm
angelak: (Hold My Hand)
[personal profile] angelak
He was blonde with long hair just below shoulder length that he kept in a ponytail regularly, and vibrant green eyes. I was 14, and he was 13. It was the summer that I changed which name I went by, so he knew me as Angela. It dawns on me now that I may have been (not that I would know for sure) really one of a very small handful of people he ever lived to form a crush on. It's an odd thought; because I mostly did not think of it from that sort of angle at the time. I thought of it largely from my own perspective.

He had the nickname "Mr. Green," which had little to do with his name at all. Maybe it was about his distinctive green eyes, I never questioned it at the time. We would become natural, easy friends - in short order, it was a connection that had the feel of a much longer history. Which was unique for a couple of just-teen kids. Our purpose was as volunteers at a cub scout daycamp.

He was an actor and a singer already at age 13. I found him fascinating, and for some reason he liked me. My newest nickname around the camp became Mrs. Green. A small thrill and victory it seemed, we loved that notion - the two of us both. I suppose we made our kinship obvious - perhaps it may have been that he sang numerous songs (among my favorite, "Luck be a Lady," which he sang just for me) and did a couple of monologues for me. I was astounded by his talent and livelihood. In particular his adept ability to memorize large amounts with that astounding efficiency. He was obviously a bright kid. It wasn't something I could do, and I knew it. He was so purely good at acting; at emoting, at being so human.

There was a long break where we had no station to be that we sat under a windmill and talked. He had a non identical twin brother and we enjoyed making fun of him for a while. His twin had none of the same hobbies. I think his twin liked sports, but I rarely spent much time paying attention to the other boy. They were very different boys. Mr. Green said to me then, "I'm going to tell you my life story," and proceeded to tell me all of the things that he felt were notable that had happened in his life. I remember this feeling of extreme gratitude and honor that he would share himself with me like this, because it really was a summary of his entire life he shared with me. Speaking directly of school, and recent events regarding his dark poetry that apparently got him nearly suspended. It wasn't violent poetry; he admitted that he merely had emotions that were real; that were not always happy. He was a very chipper, happy child. There wasn't a doubt in my mind, and why he felt he needed to talk to me - I never knew. Also an odd thing to say, "let me tell you my life story." I suppose it makes sense if you're a dramatic type. Except that we shared innocent moments that felt like eternally special ones to both of us. I don't much remember what I offered him in return, honestly - except that I understood. Maybe that was all that was needed; how often are teens understood?

He talked about acting, about his love for singing - and how he intentionally wrote happier poetry so they would stop trying to "get him help." He was very convinced he didn't need help, that he just felt dark sometimes. I understood. I really think it all connected him with being able to project as an actor; but people don't trust that of kids. He was ahead of his time with that.

He taught me funny vocabulary words and we exchanged phone numbers. (He wrote on a scrap of paper that I still keep somewhere "Defenistrate. To throw out the window.")
We did not go to the same school or live in the same city. We spoke a small handful of times and it was always special. There was little to be done with our connection. We had separate lives and were too young for more than that.
We would see each other once a year at the same volunteer event.

I often wonder who he would be today. His talent in acting was acute and strong; but his singing voice was even stronger. The last time I saw him we were all in a group, getting ready to depart near a shopping mall. We were listening to "Kryptonite," and everybody singing along. There were few and far between hugs that we shared, and as we departed we made the rounds. It was the last hug we would share.

It was the second year in a row and so we all knew each other much better, after that goodbye.
The year passed and I was 16. It was early October when my friend messaged me over the internet; the days before cell phones and smart phones.
It was an Instant Message. Not exactly the best way to find out.
Mr. Green was dead.

At the age of 15; he had already been to Broadway and performed once. He told me about it and it had been the highlight of his life. (In a phone call.)

And yet at 15 was when an actual curtain call happened. I heard that it was on one of those dark, rainy October mornings, the middle aged woman sped through a school zone in an SUV while Mr. Green crossed in the crosswalk.

All reports (of which there were many) said he was merely crossing after looking both ways, and that he couldn't have done anything different to avoid his death. She was moving too fast and killed him.

I haven't thought of him in several years. He would have been 29 had he continued aging.
Strangely enough I think he was born in January.

--

-Angela

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