Tuesday, December 13, 2011

“Blue is the True Color of Friendship,” Ben Lewis

“Blue is the True Color of Friendship”
Ben Lewis

I was reminded of my childhood while catching a re-run of baseball film, a classic tale of friends enjoying an endless summer, all united by the fear of a charming beast. Their brotherhood resembled that of mine. In my adolescence I too enjoyed the confidents of a classic suburban neighborhood. You know, the ones back in the good old days were innocence ran rampant. The area where everybody knew one another and chose to express a meaningless salutation every time one encountered another. I moved to a neighborhood like this in second grade, scared out of my mind.

Fortunately, I just was making a big deal out of nothing and soon without a doubt became part of a group all united by a gentle beast, a beast by the name of Blue. Instantly we all became best friends. Funny how that happens when you’re younger. I wish the ability to make friends instantaneously would be more common at an older age as it is for young children. Anyways, soon enough I wouldn’t do anything without them. The clan consisted of Kelly, Molly, Sammy, and Cory. The first three were siblings, which was surprising because they all got along really well with each other. Not many siblings can do that at such a young age.

My fondest memories of Blue and the gang are from the summer. Summer was our kingdom. We were unstoppable, invincible. Adrenaline was the main drug that we consistently sought after in our young age. Thinking back, we did many dangerous stunts that could have caused of much trauma. But, still to this day I believe the stunts were completely worth the risk.

Unfortunately, not all our stunts were successful. For example, out of utter boredom, we made a huge rope swing off a big magnolia tree next to a neighbor’s barn. Kelly and I were the daredevils of the group and we always tried to one up each other. I was on the losing end most of the time. My excuse back then was that he was one year older than me, which provided him with a more sufficient source of bravery. Nevertheless, he tried to do a back flip while still on the swing. The back flip attempt caused him to lose control and swing into the jagged corner of the barn. A chunk of flesh and a stream of blood was the outcome of the stunt. Hearing the screams of pain, Blue abandoned the curious looking deer poop and raced to the scene.

To our knowledge Blue’s tongue had extraordinary powers. The saliva that he produced counteracts the pain receptors and tends to heal any wound, no matter how serious it was. Blue then proceeded to lick profusely. If anybody had happened to walk by a dog ravenously digging his face into a gory wound of a young child most certainly would have been alarmed. After a struggle to wrestle Blue away from Kelly, the salvia had settled in and did its intended job.

Blue was the unspoken leader of our group. Blue held the bond of all our friendships. I am completely in love with dogs, especially this one. In a sense Blue was like our sensei and we were his apprentices. He knew more about the world than any of us could ever know. That’s why when his day finally came to leave this world it was the saddest day of my life.

When I was sixteen Blue became very ill and it was only a matter of time before he would pass. I was eating dinner when I received the call from Kelly informing me that Blue was about to be put to sleep. Scrambling to find my shoes, I jumped from the table, briefly informing my parents where I was headed. When I arrived he was already laid upon the table, as if he were being sacrificed to the gods. The magnificent black beast lay with only a huge bright white light positioned straight above him. The room reminded me of the torture rooms in the terrible horror movies that base their entertainment solely on gore.

Soon enough the lethal substance was injected into Blue and slowly he drifted off into a deep sleep dreaming god knows what. Hopefully this dream consisted of everything he loved such as squirrels, grass, poop, and the taste of human sweat. The killing of animals is much more upsetting to me than the death of humans. I believe the innocence of animals is what makes their death so much more nerve racking. I lost a friend that didn’t care how I dressed or the way I acted, all he wanted was to be happy and loving.

Beside him Molly stood crying uncontrollably. I wanted to caress her and let her know everything was going to be okay. Like I always do, I wimp out with the possibility to consolidate a beautiful girl. Also, I feared the look that I might get from her father, who was standing across the room. There’s never a good time to hit on a girl if her father is in the room.

Funny how my mind always switches to girls even in depressing times. I guess it’s the true guy in me. Beside my sudden hormonal convulsions I suddenly became aware that I was about to cry as well. Not me. No. There was no way I was going to cry in front of my friends. Till this day I still regret not letting the tears gush out of my eyes. I owed it to Blue to let others know how much he meant to me.

The sun outside the vet hospital was setting in the background. Ultimately providing the situation with a movie like ending to Blue’s life. Immediately exiting the building, we gingerly placed his body into the trunk and set off for the mountains. Kelly’s family owns a large territory in Tennessee that is situated on top of a mountain. This place was the agreed memorial spot of the great animal. The car ride was silent. I was fine with the silence because I had no clue what to say. I had a knack for trying to say a profound exclamation that would ease up the tension, but usually I screw up the speech by stuttering or just suggesting a reference in which nobody knew. My explanations for these mishaps are always that I was just too intelligent for others to understand, a misunderstood genius. Therefore, I saved the speech for myself, which I might add was very cleaver. Eventually, we arrived and proceeded to hoist Blue up to the top of the mountain.

The moment was glorious. The sun provided lighting that a cinematographer would die for. If only I had a camera and some knowledge on how to work a camera properly. Who knows how many people might have watched that video online. Maybe, I would have been the next up and coming director. For a minute I became overjoyed with this new sense of pride, but quickly deprived my mind of this notion for this was not the time or the place to start daydreaming. We buried Blue at the top of a cliff that overlooked our neighborhood. The view was magnificent.

At that moment, I looked around the circle that we had formed and became overwhelmed with emotions. Life seemed to stand still. I realized that time was precious and that nothing should be taken for granted. Soon we were all going to drift apart and start new lives and there was nothing we could do about it.  Our innocence was gone and we could never have it back. Maybe this bond that we developed would be destroyed with the passing of Blue because he was the glue that held us together. Like super glue to be more specific. I couldn’t let the notion go because I wanted the bond to last for all eternity. Growing up seems heartbreaking and I wish I could stay young forever. Life is long, but seems so short. So we stood, lost in our own thoughts till the sun went down leaving us standing in the dark night. We descended the mountain, blindly tripping over rocks till we reached the car.

Two years later I still remember the good times that my friends and I had with our beloved dog. Every year we go back up to that very spot and reminisce of the dog days, the days when nothing mattered. We were free from the societal norms and pressures to conform. I have come to the realization that Blue was not only our bond, but also our friendship. Our comradeship did not die that day. He stayed with us because true friendship cannot be broken. Even though all of us are several hundred miles apart we still stay in contact with one another. I like to think of the color blue as the true color of friendship.

No comments:

Post a Comment