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Fight for your right

I happened to stray into the "B" section of my playlist today, and now I'm listening to the "Fight For your Right to Party" song by the Beastie Boys. It's a stupid song, but a classic. I guess there's a market for shouting out the plight of the generic, shallow middle class white kid.

I knew this guy Kevin, who really liked that song, I guess because he was a generic, shallow, middle-class white kid. He had a "FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY" banner in his room that he made. Our group of friends played DND and made dry ice bombs and drank slurpees all summer--- the idle, pointless fun of middle school. That must have been 15 years ago now.

A few years ago, Kevin's dad died (his mom had died years ago of cancer) and he got a life insurance check. I heard he spent it on stupid stuff like a hot tub, and I guess the next year he got in some trouble over the taxes due on his dad's estate. He didn't really understand the IRS audit and thought he might go to jail.

He killed himself. He was 31.

So when I hear that song I mostly just feel guilty. We weren't good friends, didn't have a lot in common. He was kind of boring and not that smart, and back then I didn't make much room in my life for aquaintances--- you were my good friend or else a stranger. I guess I'm still kind of like that, but I'm trying.

When we all went away to college, he didn't really have anyone. If I had just bothered to talk to him a few times a year, maybe he would have thought to pick up the phone and call me when he got in trouble. I bet I could have talked him down.

But that didn't happen, so instead I have a dumb song in my playlist that reminds me of the importance of staying in touch.

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