I think tonight is the night that I finally say goodbye to my buddy Steve Etcheverry, aka Etch. I've started and stopped this piece for a few weeks now, as I was unsure if I was ready to crawl within my emotions. Well, tis time, I hope you're proud of what we've all done within the last few weeks since your passing; up until June 20th of this year, it had been some time since I felt as broken as I did that Saturday morning, to be honest I'm still broken, man.
In the weeks leading up to your passing, we exchanged texts, calls, art, clothing, music, laughter, thoughts, and love, twas nothing new for us given the fact you told me to lean on you if anything were to come up and I told you the same. Since the start of this pandemic and government slow down, I found solace in being at home and exploring what makes me tick and you found emptiness being subjected to four walls and the lack of a scene. To be honest, I figured I'd be more like you, bruh bruh, I figured I'd want to fill my loneliness with people and let loose a bit too but then I realized there is a huge part of me which is still healing from years of me not being kind to me; I wish you'd slowed down a bit and reflected too.
The friendship which we shared was perplexing to some, for instance, my ex thought you were sleazy and a troublemaker, I knew you were both but I still defended you anyway because you allowed me to not have to put on an act in order to be understood. It's wild right, you being the rocker, skinhead, motorcycle, gun guy, and me being the bow tie wearing, Prius driving, Supreme wearing guy, we weren't supposed to mesh but mesh we did.
Your love for travel and people was much like mine, we'd both touched similar places and had visions of touching more places, while laughing, singing, drinking with old and new friends alike. This summer was to be the summer I would've had crossed both Scotland and Hungary off of my travel list and also the Euro Championships; you would have probably received a couple of scarves or something from a few of those matches too.
Last summer we took a trip down to LA to catch two days worth of shows for band that you introduced me to a few years back; it was the first time in over five years that I had a car full of people, shoot it was the first time I'd driven for two straight days. We ate well, we drank well, and we partied the night and day away, however, you and the rest of the group snored all the way back home on day two. You said something a few days later to me which has stuck with me, you said, "I wish I'd been there instead of being so fucked up".
Life is a balancing act isn't it, we can either stand on one leg or fall over on two. My darkest hours have been a struggle between good and evil, the still small voice telling me that I don't matter and no one is going to miss me and the louder sweeter voice of my mother telling me that everything is going to be okay and that I should come back to the light. I wish my voice were sweeter and louder bruh.
The week of June 20th, I had spoken with you on Monday afternoon, missed your call on Tuesday morning, called you back on Wednesday, received ridiculous texts from you too on Wednesday night, and then we linked up on Thursday afternoon for about an hour or so to exchange some art for some music (well there was that Ben Sherman shirt you gave me too). Due to whatever I was feeling at the time, I felt as though I had overstayed my welcome so I left but not without saying that I loved you man. It was sometime during my drive home, I remembered that I hadn't taken the time, in my mind, to tell you just how happy and appreciative I was for being you and allowing me to be me. See, you were the cool rocker guy with the Dr. Martens and insane knowledge of rock and roll, Adidas, and mechanics and I was the guy who....
I thought of you on Friday but I didn't call you because I figured I get to ya during the weekend. As I sat eating my bowl of cereal, while watching your team play footy, on the telly, I looked over to find my Instagram account had a message. Of course thinking nothing of it really, I thought to myself why would this person be messaging me and I proceeded to call to see what was taking place.
IF I were to be completely honest, I thought the passing of Kobe Bryant was the worst thing that was going to take place this year but the truth is it has been your passing. I mentioned to a friend, earlier in the week, that I was carrying a heavy heart because of you; I knew in my heart that you weren't happy but I wasn't strong enough to ask too many questions aside from the easy one, "You good, bro?"
Life is a balancing act and one can either stand on one leg or fall over on two. My days haven't been the same, I find myself tearing up when I think of your mannerisms, when I think of your smile; you were bigger than life to so many yet you couldn't see that for yourself.
There are voices which speak with us and on that fateful morning, you happened to not have the right voice whispering in your ear. I wish I could say that we're all just going about our lives without thinking of you but that would be a lie. I have a few pictures that I'd like to share with you, a few new things on the horizon that I'd like for you to see, and new book which I've recently completed, which I'd like for you to read; most importantly, I have a last word or words which I'd like to share.
"I miss you bruh, I'm a bit broken man, I'm plenty sad, you were a light to me and to others as well. I can't thank you enough for your trust and friendship, I hope to make you proud. What's up Etch, you good".