When You Leave the Party Early

It starts when your heart stops. There’s a certain moment when you are between beats and the breathing stalls…even your brain takes a break. The computer screen in black print declares your best friend is dead. On Facebook. Twice in a month. I lost my two best friends in a month—their deaths were very sudden and I discovered both tragedies on social media. With no mutual friends on either side, do I thank Facebook for letting me know why no one will ever respond to my texts and calls again? Or do I get pissed by how I was informed of their passing?  I think it would be just as hard had I been told in person–the situation just sucks all the same.

Some nights I cannot help but break down. I have survived the unimaginable: I lost the ones who held my heart together. My two best friends. My demon cat. There was a comfort with Stephan…a warm knowledge that he was always in my corner—he always had my


Tattoo #7 For Stephan Cherkashin who lived for music 12/14/2016

back. Adam was the friend I spoke to 50 times a day. He brought up gossip when I needed a laugh; he relayed dreams he had of us living in Italy and described my designer wardrobe; he told me I was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen—he had a way with words…to make you believe them.

They left me alone. I feel so selfish but it is all I can comprehend: I am now alone. I have a super bad day and who do I reach out to? Who can I gossip/cry/laugh/pee on the phone with? When your two best friends die within a month of one another, there is no time to begin rebuilding your friend base…you’re not even halfway through the grieving process of the first when the second is found DOA a few weeks later. No one writes a book for this…even a manual. My sister asked my mother, “What do I say to her? What can I possibly do? I’m speechless.”

In my experience this past December/January, 99% of those left to pick up the pieces avoid you because it is awkward and sad and no one likes to place him/herself in awkward-sad situations. Even my cat…my cat died in between it all.

My heart is crushed…shattered. There are no pieces to glue back together. The only positive thing regarding the terrible depression following Stephan’s passing is that I was


Tattoo #8 for my Queen Adam Paladino. My other half. 01/17/2017

already on that level when my cat and Adam died. I was already having a difficult time sleeping and thinking and not punching things. Only, I now have no Adam to sob about Stephan and Suki to.

Pottery and memorial tattoos have been amazing crutches through this process. Pottery gets out the aggression and the energy usually spent scream-crying and the tattoos feel like I have a piece of our stories with me. Such amazing men in my life who meant everything in a world with so few friends and fewer bright moments. I’m flailing midair, grasping at anything in the wind tunnel I’m spiraling down.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to be learning here. I’m not even going to try to figure it out. All I know is it hurts like Hell and they deserved better.


One thought on “When You Leave the Party Early

  1. hello,
    my name is patrick (pj) you may remember me from several years ago in ny. stephan and i were best friends, opened vanishing point together, and we would all hang out together on several occasions. in the pictures you showed in your other post, in the pic at the bottom, i’m the guy between you and stephan with a british flag t-shirt on.

    i just wanted to say your posts here touched me very much, i came across them after i searched for other news of this tragedy. that is also how i heard about stephan’s passing: i just happened to do a search of him.

    i share your grief completely, and wish i were still in nyc to be able to connect with people such as you in person as a way to handle this – people who shared the experience and pleasure of knowing stephan. needless to say, as with you, i’m emotionally devastated and i am having trouble getting my head around it. i also understand your sentiments when describing the loneliness you feel when you don’t have people around who can relate or commiserate. i am in the same situation.

    sadly, when i abruptly had to leave nyc in 2010, except for a brief time thereafter, i lost touch with everyone i knew there. these last several years have gone by so fast for me, with little to show for it, it makes me miss ny and everyone i knew and all the experiences even more. upon hearing this kind of news, it takes me even lower, more empty.

    just wanted to let you know you have a friend who understands your feelings with this.

    if you’d like to chat, etc. my email is here as i submit this comment, i can send you my phone number as well.

    take care,


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