People that come into your life part 2

When I first started this post it was with a clear mind and an open heart. But alas as you will read what you find out in the middle of this post is confusion, heartbreak and denial. For what it seems that we have here is a false memory, or a co-memory and by that I mean that in the past Hank and I may have had a conversation that went somewhere along the lines that you will read. Most likely not. I have thought about deleting this post entirely but have asked my wife to read it and she said to leave it, someone out there would get it and understand what has happened here. So I will leave it with those hopes in mind. I truly hope that no one else ever has this happen to you, I truly felt betrayed by my own thoughts and memories. I had to stop writing this in order to calm myself down and look at what it was that I was remembering. To be honest I have yet to come up with an answer.

We then move onto the next character in my life, now I have known this person since I was teenager around 13 or 14 and this person died when I was 18. I am talking about Hank, or better known as Animal and he came by that nickname rightly due to the fact that he was covered in hair from head to toe, it was not disgusting like his back was all hairy but he was like me had a hairy chest always wore a beard and had long hair. Hank was an incredible person, it is hard to tell you about Hank because he was an important person in my life then he died and I have the feeling that I repressed a lot of the memories that I have of him, due to the fact that he was so important to me and the first real-time I had ever had anyone important in my life die. To say that he died tragically is very correct so I guess I will start there and work my way backwards to see if I can fill in some of the gaps in my memory. You see Hank had a drug problem he liked heroin, but you know I never once saw him shoot up but he would tell me that he did heroin. And to be truthful during this time I was a pothead and a speed freak, you say the two don’t really go together one being an upper and the other a depressant well you are wrong doing both made for an incredible high and I could stay that way for days at a time, I just had to keep popping the white crosses and smoking the dope. But back to Hank I don’t remember the full details of what happened that night but I do remember that he had told me that this once I couldn’t go with him, strange and odd I went everywhere with Hank, and to not be included hurt my feelings to say the least I don’t remember the day of the week or even what day of the month it was, but I do remember that I wasnt allowed to go with him. He left and that was the last I ever heard from Hank again dead or alive. You see I found out later that he had gone to make a drug deal and well that drug deal went bad, I don’t know exactly how it went bad because I wasnt there, Hank and his friend were found dead, laying face down side by side in the middle of the road in Paradise Valley which is where we were living at the time. we were in Arkansas living in a town called Mountain Home, we lived in the middle of nowhere to be exact, about 45 minutes outside of town on a hill overlooking Paradise Lake, I am not sure of the name of the lake but for now it will do. In hindsight I think that Hank knew he was dealing with some bad people and didn’t want me involved because you see instead of just two people lying in the road there would have been three, me being the third. His parents told me about the crime the day after it had happened, you know this isn’t how I remember it at all, I wasnt there when he died I was living in the next town over called Harrison, I wasnt even in Mountain Home, I was staying with my mother cause for some reason she moved there and I followed, this is fucked up how could I be so wrong about this, I know I was there, I could swear that I was there. Damn I am having conflicting thoughts right now, I know he is dead but how could I have made up all those memories about this when I wasnt even there? I was hanging out with Ramon at the time that I found out about Hanks death. But I swear that I was there, I have memories of the conversation and everything. I need to stop for a minute and really give my self a reality check cause I swear that I was there and that I had that conversation with Hank about not going, hell I can even remember me being hurt that I couldn’t go along.. fuck this, this is really screwing with my head.

Even as I am rereading this in my head I can see Hank and I having this conversation. It was coming straight out of my head and flowing through me like it was real. Why is this happening why do I feel so strongly that I was there? How come I remember the look on Hanks face and the smell of his leather jacket, and the fact that he hadn’t laced up the sleeves on his leather jacket, he had replaced the broken zippers with leather thongs so he could keep the sleeves tight when he needed to, or is even that a false memory? Holy shit what do I do now? How can I even keep writing this when I know that I wasnt there for one of the most important memories of my life?

I am going to leave this alone for a little bit, try to go and do something else, like read a book, take a walk, get a chew, smoke joint, pop some pills, take some xanax, well I don’t smoke pot anymore and I don’t pop pills, so I will have to find some other way of clearing my mind, later.

I will say this before I move on to my other memories of Hank, I was very scared of what had happened just a few hours ago. I was writing with what I felt like was heart the words flowing from my memory to the keys and thus to you. I now feel betrayed by my thought process and feel like I have to examine every thing that I think I remember under a microscope, in order to give to give you here a factual and honest account of my memories. My wife says to just write and see what flows from your mind to the screen and don’t worry over whether it is factual or made up, you will know it when it happens, but that what ever I do don’t stop writing. And so I go on.

Hank was a very friendly and kind person, I can’t remember who actually met him first my mother or me and I can’t even remember where I met Hank at, was it in North Carolina? I don’t know and I don’t think it really matters Hank came into my life for a reason, and that reason is not remembered either, but I will figure it out and fill you in later. Hank was fun to be around he made you feel good about yourself all the while battling his own inner demons, and not once, not ever once did you see him falter, stumble or fall, he was strong not only of body but of the mind as well. He was well spoken and even taught Sunday school at one time. I never knew what Hanks demons were and I was closest to him, but he never shared them with me. Being around him I felt safe, I could be myself and have no worries that anything would happen to me. Does this smack of hero-worship, well I guess it was. He not only made me feel that way but any that were around him felt the same. No matter where we went or what we did he knew someone or someone knew him. We were always invited to every party and Hank did his level best to attend all of them, with me in his wake. Now you must be wondering if I were following in his wake, worshipping him as a hero, well what kind of  life did I have? Well it wasnt like that it wasnt like I was his sidekick and we had matching costumes or belts with all kinds of gadgets on them. No I in my own right became as popular as he, well wasnt it Hank that gave me the nick name Skip, I think it was. well needless to say the name stuck especially in Mountain Home. I also had friends of my own and did things separate from Hank just as he did from me, but we always met in the middle. And no we were never far apart. I am not saying Hank was perfect he smoked pot, drank and partied with the best of us and if you remember he claimed to have a heroin problem. I do have to admit he did act strange sometimes, but I just attributed it Hank being Hank. The tone of this blog has changed to me from one of hard felt memories to one seeming to inflate Hanks person. I don’t know if this is due to my earlier episode or not, but what I have said of Hank is true he was all these things to me, he was my best friend, and I am a better person for having known him. Perhaps it is the regret of my feelings of loss for him, I do wonder what kind of man he would have turned out to be, if he would have had a wife, children and a life. I would like to think that he would have. Hell I did, so why not Hank. I do feel that my memories of Hank are distorted and not very clear and this upsets me greatly. He was such a huge part of my life and I regret that I cannot paint a clearer picture of what and who Hank was, I think you would have liked him if you had known him. I will leave well enough alone on this subject. Rest in Peace Henry Albert Cornell, Jr.


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