I first met Joe in the summer of 2013 working in Kodiak, Alaska, as seafood processors. We didn’t become friends there, but after our stint, we stumbled across each other on the street here in Seattle, recognized each other and became chums, mates. I respected how hard I saw him work on Kodiak and instantly appreciated his good nature and friendly demeanor.
Joe was a fart smeller, I mean “smart feller” (the kinda joke I know he would’ve wanted to be said in his requiem). I think I knew him better than anyone else here in Seattle.
I understood that he saw his future, and it was bleak to him. While he took it in stride for a while, sadly and ultimately, he succumbed to it. Imperfection of life, loss, turmoil.
It is what happens when you lose family, lose yourself. You lose hope. Joe was lost and didn’t accept the help offered to him. He punished himself, like most of us do, but more so. He was a very sad man who always put on a happy face as to not drag down those around him. He was conscientious and kind, happy many times, even though you could see the sadness in his eyes as he laughed.
He was not perfect. None of us are. I liked him, I was his friend. I will miss him.
Joe, I’m sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye. I’m pissed at you for giving up so early, but your life was your own, with no fate but what you made. Rest in peace, brother. I’ll see you on the other side.