How would you feel if he/she died tomorrow?
This is how I will filter every life problem from here on out. Whatever issue, disagreement or “big” thing that might be causing me to consider drawing a serious line in the sand… how would I feel if that person no longer existed tomorrow? Cause they might not.
My friend (and former roommate), Bart Kahn, died suddenly last Thursday at age 46. I still don’t know why, or how – but I do know that up until a few days ago he was fine: posting on Facebook, eating dinner at Sardi’s, even joking about being mistaken for a sexual predator after dialing a wrong number and asking for “2 boys, one in heels.” He was a Broadway talent agent looking for casting options.
Bart and I grew very close while and after we lived together. What started as a temporary fix for both of us turned into a shared blessing. He was recovering from months of being hospitalized and needed a transitional place in the city. I was deciding whether to let my boyfriend officially move in with me and needed the rent. The three of us basically lived together for a while, and it was kind of wonderful.
Bart took us to the theater, even gave us an exclusive backstage tour of “Lion King.” And I will always laugh thinking of him and his friends sitting expectantly on the couch every Saturday afternoon, JUST as my police officer boyfriend would emerge from my bedroom in uniform on his way to work. He was straight candy to their gay eyes 😉
We remained close after he moved out, but had a disagreement about a year or so ago when I was emotionally distraught about my breakup. And even though I apologized more than twice, our relationship was never the same. I tried many times to make plans with him in the past year, but he never seemed to want to get together. I missed his friendship dearly, but after a while I stopped trying. I wish I hadn’t.
I’ll never know what happened, or why he was reluctant to see me. You can’t force someone to spend time with you, or make them share what might be making them uncomfortable. But I somehow wonder if I had kept trying, and genuinely let him know how much I missed him – maybe we could have gotten past it. And I deeply regret whatever it was that I said that pushed him away in the first place.
We are all so fragile, as are our relationships. I guess the lesson is to choose our words and treat eachother with the utmost care. Remembering that we might not get a second chance. And tomorrow could be too late to say I’m sorry.
I’ll miss you, Bart. And I’m truly sorry.