Coming of Age part 2

Coming of Age

The guys from Stand By Me all grew up.


Wil Wheaton (Gordie) had a couple of other movie roles, but is probably most known for his role in Star Trek: The Next Generation as Wesley Crusher.  Today, he does background voices for cartoons and writes quirky novels about his past.  I saw his first book at Hastings a while back and was tempted to pick it up. I didn’t.


Corey Feldman (Teddy) was hugely popular in the 80’s and early 90’s.  After the fame waned, he disappeared for a while and his drug addictions were exposed to the nation.  He tried to make a comeback, but it never took and now he’s found on reality television shows.


Jerry O’Connel (Vern) lost all the baby fat and ended up with a pretty successful career.  I saw him in Jerry McGuire, but preferred his work in the Sci-Fi series Sliders.


River Pheonix (Chris) was landing roles in huge movies, but his life ended early because of an accident that took place while he was under the influence of illegal drugs.



When I try to associate memories from high school with regret, I find it difficult because kids no nothing of regret.  Not true regret.  When you’re a kid, you do kid things- you drink and try smoking.  You pursue girls unapologetically.  You make mistakes, but you learn from them (hopefully).  The bad stuff that happens- you have to chalk up to life experience.  You live, you learn.  The really bad stuff that happens is harder to brush off.


Aaron’s dad called us out into the living room after the sounds of Aaron’s heaving woke his mom up.  The night prior, Aaron and I had been out by the creek drinking- a lot.  After making it back through his window, we passed out on the floor, but Aaron got up early and started vomiting.  It wasn’t a big deal until I heard him crying through the wall.  We found out later that the blood in the vomit came from the ulcers in his stomach.  After we got back from the clinic, Aaron’s dad sat us both down and, with his wife by his side, started his plea for us to see where this would lead.  He was talking to the both of us, but I felt like a lot of it was directed toward me.  See, Aaron had a lot of friends, but I was the only friend that was there before his vices got dangerous.  His dad’s tone told me that they saw me as a sort of “inside guy”, someone who could help look after their son- someone who truly had Aaron’s best interests in mind.  I nodded and apologized for our childishness without really understanding the depth of it.


In the following months, Aaron and I would hang out less and less.  The people that he roamed with grew more and more sketchy and while with him, I found myself consuming more and more toxic poisons.  I want to pause here to say that this lifestyle was never appealing to me and it sounds worse than it actually was only because it’s coming from me.  The whole drug scene really wasn’t my thing.  Amongst my peers it was somewhat casual, but nobody forced you if you didn’t want to.  I tasted enough to know it just wasn’t for me- you live you learn.


So with differing interests, Aaron and I drifted apart.  He called me every now and then- mostly when he wanted to let me know that he was doing better.  There was one time he called me over to take and destroy his meth pipe-  which I did promptly on the way home from his house.  I was proud of him and things were looking up.


The next memory I have about Aaron was a couple of years ago when my Mom told me they found him dead in a local hotel room.



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March 2009
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