Here I am, crying in a classroom closet while my students eat snack. Meanwhile, doing all I can to not snack myself into a coma to cope with the pain of knowing you’re gone. What about your plans to see me in Vietnam and travel more of the world together? What about your goals you talked to me about last week? 10 days ago to be exact. Not to be a creeper or anything, but I did just look back at our message history. Sorry, I swear I genuinely forgot to respond to your last message. The guilt is eating away at me. I know you’re not mad at me for that though, and I’m not mad at you for leaving too soon either.
How could I be mad at you? You’ve brought so much joy into my life. I have never met anyone else who I had such fluid, fun, banter with. We’ve shared so many unforgettable adventures. It sucks that we won’t make more together or reminisce about them on the phone again. Who’s going to make fun of me all the time now? Actually, I’m sure other people will, but never like you. No one was like you.
I am mad though. I’m mad I forgot to respond. I’m mad I didn’t check in more. I’m mad that such a good person had only a short time to spread their light. I am mad that your Go Pro camera is loaded with photos and videos of us that I’ll never be able to see and cherish.
So many people cherished you, James. Your energy lit up the room, even if you were passed out on a bean bag chair in the corner after a long day of travels. Some of the most fond memories that I’ve ever had in my life were with you by my side. I think you knew that, but I wish I told you.
Now I’ll never figure out the spaghetti song we made up when we were drunk in Hoi An. I was counting on you to remind me and make me laugh like you always do… or did. Fuck James, this just doesn’t seem real or right.
Do you remember watching the lightning in Sapa? That was a magical night. Remember that time we almost died in Ninh Binh? We talked about it last month, so of course you do. That is, if you can hear me now… What about the first day we met? I would lose my debit card a million times if I knew it would result in me needing to beg strangers for money and miraculously meet someone as incredible as you again.
I can get on with people pretty easily, but you took me by surprise. It was like I knew you my whole life. You’re like a brother to me. Forever my soul family.
You’re too good of a dude to go so soon.
Rest in paradise James Maguire 21.11.1996 – 15.7.2020