My neighbour, Peter, just overdosed. There were the police in their fluro yellow vests and the ambulance officers in their calming blue shirts. By the time I was outside they'd already taken away the body - he was gone, dead. From the front of my house I saw the police searching through his now empty home. Their flashlights lengthened and shortened the shadows of the objects they passed over. One sat upon the officer who was closing the window: her shadow stretched right over my neighbour's yard. Then she closed the window.
I had known the guy since I moved in here almost 4 years ago. On my very first day there I passed him and another neighbour drinking wine together and talking. I thought "I wonder if that's what it's going to be like here - all chummy with neighbours and wine over conversation?". It wasn't. I didn't talk to him much outside of hellos and goodbyes. Until I started suffering from depression in 2007 I didn't realise he was severely depressed. I never knew he was an addict. It's odd how obvious it all is in retrospect though.
Please please please don't throw your life away. I am honestly begging you - you, you reading now. Don't even throw it away in small doses - hold it all close to your chest and cherish it. I don't care who you are and what you do with your time, I don't care how much money you make or how long it takes to fix up your hair, I don't care whether or not you give to charities and I don't care what kind of marks you got in high school - the very fact you're reading this means you're alive, and that means you have something that should be cared for and nurtured. Anything less is a tragedy.
Peter, I'm so so so sorry.