Today, it’s been raining all day in South Jersey and I had wanted to post pictures and talk about the Fire Island Blackout I went to yesterday. But today I have been thinking about Michael.
Michael was murdered, oh so many years ago. He was found one night in the back of a Brooklyn store with five bullets riddled in him. Three of them were centered on his groin area. The police said that someone had tried to make a statement with that. Was it drugs, women, men? A statement was made alright, Michael was dead. His only statement was a two inch column in the back of the New York Post just before the classified adds and the sports section.
I loved Michael, probably still do. Even though he was only three or four years older than me, he seemed to be much wiser and experienced than I was. He was one of my Uncle Charlie’s many children from who knows which woman and he was the first person that I can remember that actually spoke to me as an adult. That is if you can be an adult at thirteen or fourteen.
When he was not fighting with my father, everybody fought with my father, he would tell me why Christianity did not work for him and why he had turned to Islam. He showed me that his beliefs were just as valid as the ones I was brought up to believe in and that the logic that he used was no different or less legitimate than those used by others. But more than that, he taught me to open my eyes and not just accept everything because someone else said it. He tried to make me think for myself.
I was going to tie this piece to missed loves or friends, but that might have been too maudlin. I was even going to relate it to the beliefs that some have that Obama was thought to be a Muslim. But as far as that goes, if people don’t like him because of his religion, then fuck ‘em. In fact if they don’t like anyone because of their religion, then fuck ‘em. They are not the people that I am thinking of today.
Today, there are no pictures of my cousin, or silly links to YouTube. There are no attempts to be witty or clever. Today, I’m thinking about Michael.