Yesterday the world lost a good man. An old friend of mine had his life taken from him violently and it's been a shock to all who knew him.
His name was Bruce, but he didn't let that cause him grief. We used to hang out in high school and engaged in activities that you would expect teenagers to do. We chased girls, drank more than was safe or reasonable, and spent many hours just talking and sharing our love for classic films and all things Mel Brooks.
Bruce was a fun loving guy who was always up for a good time. His rosy cheeks were the result of his constant smiling and he had a quick wit that was the envy of many. One night a few friends and I piled into his Bronco and cruised the streets looking for something to do in our small town. I was sitting in the back and noticed a roll of duct tape. Why it was there was anyone's guess, but it gave me an idea. Jason and I applied it to our mouths and bound our hands with it and hid ourselves from sight. Bruce and Brandon were in the front and knew where I was going with this.
Bruce pulled up next to a car full of girls and he and Brandon started making small talk, then Jason and I popped up covered in duct tape pleading for help as best we could. The girls first got into a state of bewilderment, then the two in front hit us repeatedly while screaming for us to get back down. Jason and I would comply while Bruce would continue to try and seemingly woo said girls. Laughter ensued by all involved and we repeated the joke a few times. Thankfully no one called the cops.
This was but one of many incidents that we as bored teenagers in a small town would do. Bruce and I would often spend our evenings getting into trouble, but we never were malicious. My friend was always kind to those he met and entertained us all with his sharp sense of humor, no matter what we did.
He once admitted to me as a teenager that all he wanted was to fall in love and start a family, a brave confession considering most would just call him a candy ass, but that was Bruce. He was open with me and shared many things he wouldn't admit to anyone else. He was the kind of guy who you would have no qualms with dating your sister or friend. She would've been in good hands with him as he was decent and always a gentleman. He was a brave sort as he once boxed me, willingly, and I made him see stars.
I shall miss my old friend Bruce, who sadly was taken from us at too young of an age. I don't give much thought as to the possibility of an afterlife, but today I hope that he and his girlfriend, who lost her life with him, are together, somewhere, and sharing their love for each other throughout eternity.
As the sun set on his life I hope he could recall his existence as a good one, mostly because of those who truly cared about him. Rest in peace Bruce Kamp....
"I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life." - Jack Kerouac