He’s gone…

I got a call on Wednesday, July 10th from a friend named Mike, who is really good friends with my Buddy Adam in Kansas City. He goes, “I don’t want to alarm you, it might be nothing but something weird’s going on and I don’t know what to do.” he goes on to explain that he, his brother and Adam were on Facetime together. Adam had been drinking some (which wasn’t abnormal) but was goofing around with a gun of his (which would be sorta abnormal). Apparently Mike and his brother saw Adam hold the gun up, jump and then got disconnected from Facetime. He tried calling back but Adam wouldn’t answer. He waited 10 mins and he couldn’t wait anymore, he rushed over to Adam’s place and banged on the door, rang the door bell, yelled for Adam, banged on the window of the room Adam slept in, nothing. He could hear Adam’s phone ringing though. So Mike called me asking what he should do. The options as we saw them were, Mike should either break down the door or call the cops to do the same. We decided that calling the cops was not a great idea because it was possible Adam just passed out and it was possible he may have had some weed or something out on the table that would have jeopardized his job and his kids (I also figured but didn’t say at the time that if Adam was shot and was so bad off that he couldn’t answer the phone that was within a couple feet of him, that it had been to long for him to be helped by paramedics anyway, having been like 20 or 30 mins at this point), so we decided to give it until 9am the next day when Mike was supposed to come over and they were going to go to a Dirty Heads concert.

So the next day, Mike calls me at like 9:30am on Thursday. Same thing, he can hear the phone ringing but can’t get Adam to answer it or to come to the door or window. A few months back they were supposed to go golfing at like 7:30 or something and Adam overslept until noon. We were still hanging on to the hope at this point that he just passed out and would wake up at noon sorry for this whole mess… At this point it was DEFINITELY to late to get help and if he was just passed out and had something on the table we didn’t want the cops to see, so Mike said he’d call work at 3pm and if Adam hadn’t called in sick (to go to the concert), he’d call the cops to break into the house.

3pm comes and he calls me, still nothing, he’s going to call the cops. I said to let me know when he knows something.

About 6pm I decide to give him a call and ask what’s going on. He answers and says sorry a few times and then says, “He’s gone….” I don’t know if my phone was slightly breaking up or if it was me, but I hoped that I heard incorrectly, so like an asshole I made him repeat it. “he’s gone, man…. Sorry… I’m just… Sorry man…” I try to reassure Mike some but I’m reeling… I don’t know Mike super well, but I know him decently and this isn’t the type of joke he’d pull, and I know for sure this isn’t the type of joke Adam would pull but I’m still hoping against hope that something’s fucked up, there’s some misunderstanding or some fucking thing that will explain it… there has to be… Right?

Friday comes around, I wake up and was going to go take a shower when my dad stops me and says he has something serious to talk about, he has some bad news. And says that a friend of Adam’s folks called my Mom and said Adam had died… It was true… There was no fucking way Adam, and Mike and Adam’s folks, and Adam’s folks friend ALL were fucking something up or playing some weird sick joke…

I was already in IL, I was able to extend my ticket to leave a week and a half later to make sure I’d be able to go to the funeral. So I called Adam’s folks to offer my condolences and to say that regardless of what the cops say, I didn’t believe it’s a suicide. No fucking way. Ain’t no fucking way he’s leaving those kids to his ex-wife and sloth. Ain’t no fucking way. And there’s no way he would have done it with Mike and Pat on Facetime, he wouldn’t have done that to them. Plus, they saw it and he didn’t seem to do it on purpose. And there’s no way he would have left shit so unfinished, nothing was in order, she will likely end up with everything because his kids are likely going to be the beneficiary. He ask me a couple months back what my social security number was so he could switch his pension and life insurance and whatnot to me, I ask if I should call him and he said, “nah we could do it later” and we never did. He didn’t have a will that his folks can find. He was making plans with me to come out to Seattle this fall, like fairly specific plans like, saying he’d make sure to have enough sick leave and should have enough accrued to stay a while. When we hung out the Monday before he was talking about how he’d been looking into the HPV vaccine because he was thinking of getting it but he may be to old and we were talking about if he should try and find a doctor to do it and if he should do it even if insurance wasn’t going to cover it and whatnot. I since his Ex and Sloth were married now I ask if there was any way Sloth could adopt his kids and he said, “Not as long as I’m alive.” in a tone and manner as if to say, “There is no way he can adopt them, that will never happen.”

Even without any of the other examples, ain’t no fucking way he’d leave those kids both at all or with them.

Sunday Adam’s Dad called me at 6:30pm, I was about to grab dinner with Jer, Liz, there son and my brother. Adam’s dad says they’re having a wake/visitation Monday at 5pm down near Kansas City and then have a wake in St. Louis Friday, and then funeral on Saturday. It doesn’t take long for me to decide I don’t want to miss the wake near Kansas City, and I can either leave that night and drive all night or I can leave at like 6am and get there just in time for the wake. So I go to dinner and then head home, pack up and am on the road at like 9pm or 9:30pm to drive to Kansas City starting from an hour north of Chicago. I arrive at Mike’s house 6:30am Monday morning. Sleep a little and then get up and did a little work remotely since I’m paid by the hour and I don’t get paid if I don’t work. The wake was real nice, it was pretty informal, people kinda just telling stories about Adam, including his folks. Basically everyone from the center was able to come, either they took the day off, or came before or after a shift, or took an hour break to come and then covered for someone else so they could do the same. Adam’s folks were touched to know Adam had so many people local that he was friends with, they had no idea. It was good to put some faces to some names. Adam was open casket, I’m glad I was able to see it, if I hadn’t I think there’d always be a part of me that was like, “Was he really in that casket? Is it some weird shit where he’s now living in Whichita as Bob Jenkins?” After the wake they reserved the side room at a bar Adam and some of the guys went to. It was good to do some drinking and talk to his friends, sometimes bullshiting, sometimes about Adam.

Next morning Adam’s folks came to look at the boat that Mike and Adam were building in Mike’s garage and then after that Mike and Pat headed back to there folks house a few hours away to get away from all that. I headed to my uncles place in St. Louis and stayed the night deciding I was to tired to make the trip safely back to Chicago. Well, by then it was Tuesday, and I’d drive home only to be back down for wake on Friday, how did that make sense? So I stayed at my uncles until Sunday and drove home then after it all.

Jeremy wanted to go to the funeral even though he wasn’t super close to Adam, he felt a kinship and sort of almost older brother vibe, and he felt more of a connection between them there interactions warranted because of how much I talked about him and his situation with his ex and whatnot. He was going to drive down with me but since I was already down there he was going to drive down with my Mom, then she was going to go with a friend of hers, so Jer wasn’t going to go because he didn’t want to just drive down himself but then I suggested the train and then drive back to Chicago with me, so that’s what he did. First time he’d taken Amtrak. He liked that they had power outlets on the train. I picked him up from the train station in St. Louis which was not in a great part of town and was hilariously small in comparison to Chicago’s.

Jeff came in on Friday, Jer and I went to pick him up and we ate at Bandana’s BBQ, a local Missouri BBQ chain that’s real good. We bummed around a little at his hotel room and then went to the wake. We had to go pick up my mom at her friend’s daughters house in St. Louis proper, which was a pain in rush hour and I kinda just wanted her friend to drop her off, but she didn’t want to ask for some reason. The wake was much more formal than the one near KC but it was good in it’s own way. Talked to Adam’s brothers (who I had never met), Brian the most and met their wives. When I flew to IL for scans, I didn’t bring anything but shorts and Tshirts, expecting to just visit friends and family and go to doc appointment. I went to wake in shorts and a tshirt and Adam’s mom comes up and asks if my bones were weak or anything from chemo and if not would I want to be a pall-bearer. I said I would but said I only had tshirts and shorts because I didn’t want to worry about trying to buy clothes and figured Adam wouldn’t have given half a fuck. She goes, “You know what, I don’t give half a fuck either. We want you to do it.” After the wake Jeff’s Dad came in at the airport and we had to drop Jeff off to get his rental car and then to pickup his Dad. Jeff forgot his phone in the hotel room, so he had to barrow my phone to know when his dad came in. We then split ways and went home to sleep, since the funeral as the following morning. I think we did a little drinking, Jeff bought some Kraken spiced rum and some coke, hadn’t had Kraken before, it’s real smooth for the price. Will likely pick some up to have both Sailor Jerry’s for when I want something that’s a little rough but good and Kraken for when I want something smooth.

Saturday morning comes and I get up, take a shower and then put some underwear on and sit on my bed for a minute not wanting to get dressed, because then I have to go to the funeral and it’ll be complete or whatever. I actually got excited when I remembered I still had to brush my teeth because that put off getting dressed a little while longer. I obviously did end up getting dressed and we headed out to the funeral home… only it wasn’t actually at the funeral home. So then we had to program the GPS to get us to the church where it was. We got there just fine with enough time to spare. The service was fucking amazing. His brother Brian was a preacher, also knew Adam really well, and is a deep thinker, so those combined to make it a really good, fitting, touching and personal service and most of all, very Adam. I was of course the only one in a tshirt and only one in shorts, he probably would have gotten a kick out of that but like I said, not actually given half a fuck. After carrying the casket from the rolling table thing to hearse I walked to the car and glanced over at some outdoor tables with umbrellas… The umbrellas were Erin green and that somehow lessened the burden a little for me. Erin green is what I coined for a color of green that is my girlfriends favorite color. Reminded me of her and that I’m loved and not alone. We carried the casket from the hearse to the grave site that had a little stand there for the casket. The small bit at the grave was fine. I glanced over at a grave that was maybe 10 feet from Adam’s and there was a bottle of peanuts and a pint can of Guinness sitting one on each side of a vase of flowers. This somehow lessened the burden a little too, though it doesn’t make a lot of sense, it’s like, I don’t know, he’s got a drinking partner right there and the guy was probably a decent dude if someone’s going through the trouble of putting flowers and peanuts and a Guinness at his grave.

We were then invited to go to Adam’s folks house after, My mom headed back with her friend back home so she could get back to packing and getting the house ready. I swung back to the church to get a picture of the Erin green umbrellas and then headed with Jer in the car to grab some food from Sonic because we didn’t know if there was going to be food at Adam’s folks house. Of course when we got there, there was tons of food. We hung out there for probably like 8 hours or something. Talking to different people, wandering around. Mainly talking to his brothers and his brother’s wives. It was really good to spend time with them, I spent the most time with Brian, which was good. Got to talk about some stuff and relay some stories. It was funny, there was a few things where I had half a story and he had the other half. Brian smoked some cigars that were Adam’s and we drank some scotch. Later Jer, Richard and Jeff joined us and Richard and Jeff smoked a cigar or two as well and shared some stories. It was really good to be all together and to get to talk and just kinda take it in but in a good way. Jer and I ended up leaving at about midnight or something. Had to drop Jeff off at his hotel but we were hungry so we stopped by steak and shake on the way. Dropped Jeff off and then headed back to my Uncle’s place, slept and then headed out in the morning with Jer. Had to buy a $15 1/8″ audio cable from Best Buy (that should have been like $5 tops) to use with his phone in the car because I didn’t have any music we’d both like in the box of CDs I grabbed for the trip down. It was good to drive and talk some.

Bought my uncle a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon and Wild Turkey American Honey ’cause I wanted to thank him for putting me up for basically a week and my buddy who he’s never met for a couple nights on no notice.


Erin green umbrellas outside church:


Adam’s grave and gravestone with peanuts and Guinness:

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