Sorry about the celebrity deaths

Oh no! A famous person has hanged themselves!
They will be so terribly missed
the world is so much poorer without them
how tragic
SEE!!! depression happens to people who have everything!

Well, David had nothing. He was shit-poor and in retrospect, I suspect, abused. He had a moustache and a leather jacket and was a Satanist–the LeVey kind–with a side-ways grin and hands full of kindness. He kept me company long nights in the cold convenience store, and I’d steal smokes for him that we’d split when I got off shift. Fuck the man; the least those shits who run the store can do is keep us in nicotine and laughter. We played poker with the rest of the rag-tag chosen family, redividing the cash when we were done to leave with the same amount we came in with. I wrote poems when he died because I couldn’t stop missing him. Poems don’t fill where he fit.

Julia had nothing too. She was a queer disabled person like me. She was mathematician way outta my league, and I’m none-too-shabby at the maths myself. We sat next to each other and typed our talk because speaking exhausted me and listening exhausted her and I don’t know ASL. We fought injustice at the university, shut out further the harder we fought, fighting harder the more they shut us out. Neither of us were new to fighting. I will never forgive disability services for turning her away. I will never forget what moment’s kindness from the people who were paid to care might have done. I kept fighting when she died because I couldn’t stop missing her. Fighting doesn’t fill where she fit.

H.R. also had nothing, except a whole life ahead of her with a stigmatized diagnosis, the wrong color skin, and the excruciating cost of her masks. The generation gap yawned between us, and also some desperate sense of professionalism that kept me from saying, I hear you, I relate to you, what you do is not sustainable. We weren’t friends, but had I been thirty years younger, she’d’ve been sitting around that poker table with me and David. I will never forgive myself for maintaining professional boundaries. I kept working when she died because I couldn’t stop missing her. Working doesn’t fill where she fit.

So hear this: I don’t give a fucking shit that the world is sad for celebrities who killed themselves even though they had everything.

My friends had nothing.

They mattered.

They were poor, queer, brown, trans, disabled, shit on, turned away, ignored, abused, and invisible.

They mattered.

They fucking mattered too.

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