I've been running non-stop since Sunday to avoid thinking about this. My friend Volodiya died. Early readers of this blog, that may only be Michelle, may remember he used to post here periodically.
We met in college. He was the first gay person who I knew was gay. Even then, I had to have it explained to me since I thought since he had a picture of Marilyn Monroe that must mean he was straight. I was naive, I confess. We hung out through college. When Kate & I had our falling out he was there to pick up my pieces. He took me out to the middle of nowhere to celebrate my 21st birthday where we ate cake and drank a lot and had friends come out and drink. He's the reason I can type 80 words per minute. One of my favorite letters I received from him while he was in France complained about how useless the internet was. (This was pre-search engines). He used to call me up and say "Hey, Baby, what are you wearing?" My response was always "Nothing but a smile big boy." He would then scream like a girl and we would laugh and laugh. We spent one Christmas break playing Super Nintendo and listening to The Smiths. Only Morrissey understands!
Volodiya made me laugh and made me cry. He protected me. He drank with me. He supported me when I needed it. We grew apart and lost touch. I missed him and still do. And now he's gone and I'll never be able to apologize. And I'm not sure how I'll get over that.