(or, That Silly Game We Are All Forced To Play)
One of my childhood friends went mad one day. People ascribed it to drugs. Drug abuse may have led him to what he had become now, but it wasn't his problem. His problem was his life.
When we were born, we were dealt this cosmic poker hand that determined everything we are and have. Physical, mental, social, spiritual, and even economic: we each had our own boons and defects. It's a gambling game and most of the time, it's run by a crooked house. The odds are stacked against us, and it is no wonder that some people just give up somewhere along the way.
I had been relatively happy with my hand, but there were more than a few times before when I wished I could draw a new one, with even better cards than what I have. But I persisted in living on, making do with I had. Can't say I've done much with my life. I've barely even begun. Sometimes it gets so hard, I just want to lie down somewhere, and sleep the final sleep. But quitting this game is just as hard, if not harder, at least for me.
Going back to my friend, we've have a lot of good memories to cherish. And I hope that he won't forget those. He was one of those dealt with an unfortunate hand. Pressured on all sides, by his family, peers, and other interests, I can understand how he turned to escapism. He will always be the friend I remember.
He has long since left our circle of childhood friends, when he began to exhibit symptoms of paranoia, among other things. And now, that he has returned from dealing with his drug-related problems, he is a different man. The friend I knew has passed away.
One regret I had with what happened was how his family dealt with his problems. They separated him from us, his barkada, thinking perhaps that his drug problems were our fault. For the record, none of the members of Team Bocobos then, had ever done drugs. And then, his mother took him to their priest. I don't know what sect of Christianity they were, but from there, he took a downhill.
It's a terrible blow, but we have to go on. My barkada are now bonded tighter than ever before, following the loss of one of our own. For this, at least, I am thankful. We might have saved him, had he stayed with us. We might have, but then again, maybe not.
Everyone has to go one way or another. Those left behind have to take it in stride and move on, spiraling ever onward to entropy.
Michael A. (or Mike Telekupz, his barkada "petname") still lives in the neighborhood, but he goes his own way, a path different from the barkada's. We wish him well, and hopes that someday, he will make a full recovery and be able to succeed in all his endeavors. This is a long-overdue tribute to his memory.