Those it Will Not Break, it Kills


As Doyle and I were discussing life and loss over Spring Break, Dave came up in conversation. My friends and I haven’t discussed the event a lot in the past four years, but we chatted for a little bit the other night at the Red Room.  Dave was one of the guys that honestly NOT ONE PERSON could say anything bad about. EVER.  It was phenomenal in the way he lived his life, and a great testament to how amazing of a person he was. The world is a much poorer place without him and his laugh.

When I would say something off color he would shake his head, and in a black preacher voice say, “Oh no, Jane!” I have his radio show “The Jerkstore” on my ipod, sometimes it shuffles on as I drive down the Moscow Pullman Highway.  Considering the timing, and my massive music collection, i’ts his way of saying hi to me.

I had known Dave since seventh grade, but became friends with him in eighth. Even though we went to different high schools, we always kept in touch through the wonders of grapevines and AIM. We ended up at University of Idaho together, where he was my saving grace on that campus, it’s weird being here without him. We would frequent the ice cream bar at Wallace dining hall on Sunday nights, we would go to WinCo together and laugh at the canned chicken (in its entirety). I haven’t been in Wallace since I was a Freshman up here.  I am slightly tempted to hit up the ice cream bar on Sunday, but I don’t know.

As I jumped on the band wagon late, he introduced me to Family Guy, bringing the DVDs over to my dorm with snacks, we’d sit and laugh. We voted in the 2000 election together, lining up in the Kibby Dome forever, and then he took me to WinCo so I could get cough medicine. I’d always catch rides to and from Moscow with him, because my dad preferred I drive with him than one of my flighty chick friends. Plus he would pull over if he was sleepy and nap instead of driving while tired. He also had a machete in his trunk, and would quote Red Dawn and Chappelle show, blast Bon Jovi and AC/DC on the ride down.

I made a joke about how if I died in my dorm room no one would notice for a couple days (I lived by myself and didn’t exactly have warm relations with the other girls on my floor). He called the next day just to check in. We would go to parties together, one time crashing the Fiji house, which was significantly awkward for both of us. We’d give each other life advice as only two twenty-year olds can advise each other. I eventually transferred out of U of I, first to France, then to UMass.

When we went out on the town, he’d double check that my purse was zipped up and would help me with my coat.  A gentleman through and through, I’d joke with him that it doesn’t count if he pushes me out of the way or knocked me down to open the door for me.

When I went to Barcelona I picked him up some Barca drink coasters (he loved soccer). Every time we would meet up (usually at the Red Room to drink some Rainier or over “the best sandwich ever” at Lucky 13, I would forget them. Now they sit on my audio cabinet, I don’t want to use them, because I don’t want them to get ruined.

I remember when Christina called me to tell me the terrible news. I woke up to a few very early missed calls, and we played phone tag for a few rounds until we actually spoke to each other. My family was celebrating Easter a week early that day. Shittiest early Polish Easter ever.

I flew home for the service. I hate seeing my friends in pain. The following weeks sucked—I dealt with it like I deal with things I don’t want to- I slept a lot. As April 1st has come closer I have been constantly exhausted.

Right before he was murdered, we were discussing our class load for Spring Semester. I promised him that I would own chemistry for him, as it was a bitch. I did.

What hurts the most is that he was taken. This was not an accident doing what he loved, it wasn’t some rare illness, he didn’t OD or have some consequence of risky behavior. He let his friend in, who was having a hard time, to talk one night.  The kid, John Delling, was paranoid schizophrenic and thought Dave was an energy vampire or some bullshit like that. John shot Dave. It still brings me to angry tears.

Dave meant a lot to our friends and to me. He was one of the good guys, and I want everyone to know how great he was.

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2 thoughts on “Those it Will Not Break, it Kills

  1. It’s remembering the goodness of people and how they contributed to our lives and the lives of others that make their short time with us more meaningful. I am glad you wrote this. And yes, Dave was always the gentleman. All the more meaningful in times like these.

    1. Thanks, Matt. I loved driving by girls lacrosse with him and he would jokingly shout “Learn how to knit!” This spring has been cruel.

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