Today, I’m not going to talk about my weight or my weight loss. Today I’m not going to talk about dieting or going to the gym or sweating my ass off to get thinner. Today is July 25, so I’m going to talk about Chris Techtmann.
I just did a google search for Chris Techtmann. It brought up his mySpace page, complete with a blog entry written in Chris’ unique, compelling, expressive voice. It was a letter really, and it wasn’t to me, but I was glad he posted it and I got to read it, got to peek into his brain. The google search produced a twitter account in Chris’ name, one he never posted to or followed anyone on. The search produced last known addresses and stated that he was 31 years old. But this is a lie. Chris died two years ago today when he was only 29 years old. Chris never even got to be 30.
Chris died of a Heroine overdose. He battled his addiction for years. It utterly changed him, morphed him into a shell of the man he once was, but I remember that man. I remember him when he was young. When we were young, Chris and I were crazy about each other- crazy about our friendship for a very long time and then, later, about our romance. We thought we were unique, special. We thought we had a bond that no one else had ever experienced. We were passionate and naive and melodramatic and misunderstood. We were sure we’d be together forever. But life had other plans and the older we got, the more twisted our relationship became. For years after our messy breakup we tortured each other with our attempts to salvage a friendship, relationship, romance, something. In 2007, I finally married someone else, and in 2009 I got the news that Chris had died. We spoke only twice in the interim. So why would I take today to remember him and rehash this painful, complicated saga?
Because it’s painful. Because it’s complicated. Because he was beautiful and unique and because we can’t control the way our lives are shaped sometimes. It’s amazing that death can force you to carry with you someone you weren’t sure fit into your current life. It’s amazing that you can miss someone so terribly after putting them out of your mind. It’s amazing that death allows you the perfect prism to see that person and the awful burden of never forgetting them. It’s amazing that death can fix a fractured relationship we couldn’t work out in life.
I don’t wish things were different between Chris and I. I don’t wish that our breakup had never happened or that I had married him instead. I love my husband and know I made the right choice. I know that Chris and I would never have managed to be friends, really. We would never have managed to eliminate the intimacy or the passion or the yearning or the anger from our relationship and therefore, it never would have been platonic. We could never have been so close, so connected, and then just be casual friends who double dinner date with our spouses. There was never a happy ending for Chris and I. And so, in some ways, his passing allows me to be close to him, to remember him and linger with him, in a way I never could have in life. But it’s also incredibly tragic that the rest of the world won’t get to benefit from the Chris I remember, the Chris without the drugs, the Chris that he could really truly be. It’s terrible that he won’t marry anyone or have children or buy a house. If ever there was a man who would make a terrific father, it was Chris, and he really knew how to throw a backyard barbeque. It’s awful that he will never write again or smile again or share his incredibly generous spirit again.
So today, I am sad. Today, I’m a little heartbroken. And not for me, and not for my story with Chris, but for the loss that the world as a whole suffers without him in it. Today, July 25th, I remember and I miss Chris Techtmann.