I have a very clear memory of a very clear moment a few years ago, as I walked down the street where I lived in Portland -- not the one now, the one before -- and realizing I had most likely thought of Mike Pearl, one of my best friends, every single day for over four years.
He needs to be remembered. He is remembered.
He is not with us because of another man's stupendously stupid mistake ten years ago.
Mike Pearl was killed by a drunk driver the night of August 10th, 1997. West Ox Road, Fairfax County, Virginia. I was in Dundee, Oregon, preparing to move 200 miles east to my upcoming new job in Hermiston. Tarah -- another of my best friends, and Mike's former girlfriend -- called me the next day.
Mom and Dad can vouch for this: I almost could not walk after hearing the news. I ended the call and walked up to the main floor and they saw how I looked and they asked what's wrong and I managed to say what had happened and Mom went to me, ready to hug. I hugged her like a life raft. I wonder if I scared them with how loud I cried.
That sounds melodramatic. I accept that.
He deserves to be remembered. I'm remembering Mike now. I want to talk more about him. I will write more about him later; I am going to be out tonight, seeing the movie Stardust. I will remember to drive carefully.
I love you, Mike. I miss you.
Added: Here is more about him.