Up until I was 8 years old I grew in up in community housing. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a terrible place to live. It was the hood, but it was a Canadian hood so although there weren't shootouts in the apartment buildings hallway there was still the unconscious aspects of living in the hood that sticks with you. The fear of roaches, being comfortable around urban youth, and just no affinity for the police. When I was young I also grew up watching my father work hard, I mean grinding out an intense electrical motor rebuilding day job for not a lot of money, while simultaneously grinding out a contracting business. When I was 8 my family moved into a nice property, I mean I’m not talking villa level, but I mean a detached house in a city where a detached home in the city proper is worth millions. This transition saw me really understand what the value of hard work meant because I saw it. My father went to work when he wanted, earned money with his own hands and my family and I got whatever we wanted within limits. I ate steak, always had money in my pocket and ate a ton of $5 dollar mozzarella balls.
Now, what does this have to do with friendship. This visualization of hard work and seeing the fruits of someone's sweat come to fruition instilled a drive in me to work hard for whatever I wanted. You can’t just grow up watching someone like that and not have it rub off on you. Everyone in my immediate family works hard as hell, but what this work ethic also showed me what I value in friendship, someone to stick with their beliefs and go after that they want.
My first year in this new neighbourhood meant a new school, I was starting 3rd grade. It meant a new surrounding, the neighbourhood I lived in was working class with a lot of minorities so you met a colorful group of people. There was this guy that I met there named Aaron. Aaron would grow to become the closet person to be in my life. I grew up in a household that was Muslim. The name Haruun, came from the Prophet Moses’ brother, Aaron. So basically Aaron and Haruun share the same story and meaning. I don't believe in coincidences, maybe I am reaching here but this meant something to me.
My first memory of Aaron was him pushing me up a tree because I was a fat kid. Aaron and I shared a lot of interests, pokemon, Beyblades, reading, religion, and the love of personal reflection. I can’t describe in writing how important Aaron would become in my life. I can only tell you guys how much I loved him. When he was young he had a fiery temper, I mean I vividly remember this guy having intense arguments with teachers and challenging opinions of adults as an 8 year old. He grew out of this public explosive temper when he got older, but the strong opinions remained. We would argue everything from whether or not talking about anime all day was stupid to whether or not that you should be friends with women or, (forgive me, 5th grade was a tough a time for us all). More than that Aaron, was a guy I shared everything with. I think why I loved him so much looking back on it was his ability to listen and share constructive criticism without personal attacks. Aaron was good at objectively looking at me and telling me raw unfiltered opinions. I have strong opinions myself, and it pains me to say that I have real trouble to listening to people with out personal biases. I listen, and listen intently, but I have such convictions in some one my beliefs that its hard to keep an open mind sometimes. This sounds terrible typing it out, but I got to keep things honest. I am somewhat arrogant, and really find it difficult to listen to what people say wholeheartedly. Aaron was a guy I would go to whenever I needed an objective opinion or just wanted to vomit out what’s on my mind. There is nothing he did not know about me. He became a guy that knew me so well, sometimes I didn’t even need to talk. I would just mention something and he would put the pieces together and help me organize my thoughts. Aaron and I, if you looked at us from the outside in, no one would assume we were as close as we were. We were such different people with different values, and later on, grew on to different likes, but what never changed was the love, respect and true friendship I shared with him.
I seriously loved that guy more than I loved myself.
Aaron knew about my personal life extensively, it was something I openly shared with him and him only, he was like a combination of my journal, therapist, gay husband and a good friend looking at it now. One time I was dating someone for months, I really liked, we were having coffee one morning and she just asked me 'how do you treat someone you care about?' This blew my mind, I thought everything seemed okay, I think she just straight up got fed up with how distant I was and called me out for it one day. It's not like I am even try to be distant, I'm not the try hard mysterious, emotionally scarred type, at least I think so. I think I just am really closed off person or something and it rubbed her the wrong way. If she is reading this I ask her to forgive me, but the first thing I thought of was Aaron. No homo. You are the standard of love in my life outside my own family. A guy I just wait to call to see what I can do for you. Aaron never asked me for a thing in his life, seriously not a thing. I think the love I have for him has fucked my relationships with everyone else. Friendships, relationships and people. I always compare people to you, I just subconsciously think in the back of my head I have Aaron as a friend, he is my standard, no one else can compare, and I don't need anyone else.
How fucked up is that? What is more fucked up is that he died. So Aaron , you were the one person I loved more than my family, a pillar or something, and you now have died. What is left for me besides my own family? How do I stop putting your standard of friendship on others? Sometimes I sit down after a long couple months and have a good cry thinking about you. Sometimes I’ll just be walking home and think about how bad I miss you and just start tear up. Sometimes in the middle of talking someone I just get emotional thinking about how much I lost with your death. I was seriously planning to name my unborn child after him, girl or boy. It was that deep man.
Half the reason this failcare thing started was because of him. He was planning to do something like this before you died.
It has been some truly sad times man. I wish that whoever reads this truly values what they have before it's gone. If you are anything like me these type of deaths will shake your foundation in a strange way. It feels like something died inside of me, with no exaggeration. It truly is a death of two parts for me. I wish this kind of sadness on no one.
- Appreciate good friend(s) while you have them