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01 September 2010 @ 09:21 am

Someone Like You by Christelle Gonzales


I knew that I was getting to that age. That age… when life becomes real. And death becomes real, too. I didn’t know when my first real experience with death would happen; I dreaded it. Who would be this person that I would lose?

 I can’t say that I was Clement’s close friend or that he was one of mine, but he was part of my life.

 I must confess, the first time I met Clement (during welcome week at UCSD), I thought he was drunk. You seemed too happy, Clem. Now I understand that was just you.

 He lived in the suite directly three floors above mine. Even with two stories between us, I could still hear his viola and his “singing” (“I USED TO RUUULE THE WORLD.”) My suite loved Clement. We often joked about his handsome, GQ face. I one time mentioned to the girls, “Has Clement ever winked at you?” All of us had giggled embarrassingly. Quite a skill, my friend.


Many times an abnormally loud, lengthy, and dirty burp would break the silence of my room at night. Unanimously, my two other roommates and I would say, “CLEMENT.” Surely enough, if we looked out of our second-floor window, he’d be standing outside next to the trashcan, smoking a cigarette, illuminated by the weird orange light of the lamppost he always stood underneath. My window provided a perfect frame for the scene; it’s an image I know by heart because of how regularly I’d witnessed it throughout the year. It is still impossible for me to come back to school and not picture all of the times I saw you standing there.

 I would see Clement nearly everyday. It wasn’t uncommon for him to walk into C-22 and eyeball the cheese fries that I was eating (I always let him have the rest.) A grin and a “Thanks Stelle,” usually followed. Sometimes, he’d be laying in Justin’s bed, and for a comfortable moment in time, it would just be everyone doing nothing at all.

 Most of my standout memories of Clement are simple: I once told a joke about a gay horse eating “heeeeeey”, and he cracked up for a minute straight. I gave him Photoshop (illegally) and taught him some editing techniques. I laid on the bed while the boys shouted “NOOBS!” throughout hour-length games of DOTA. I teased him about his rash (“Jigga jigga, call a girl boshingles.”) making him laugh—that laugh-- during a long car ride home.


My fondest and most painful memory to recall is one of just the two of us. It was seldom for us to be talking one-on-one without the connection of our other friends to bring us together… so when he came to find me when I was once alone and upset, I was surprised. But I welcomed his genuine concern. In that hour, we sat on the bed and talked about my thoughts and his thoughts. We talked about our friends. We talked about love. The strongest moment I remember is when Clement smiled at me and sweetly told me, “I really like talking to you.” It seems like such a small thing to be proud of, but I can still practically hear you tell me this and finally make me realize that you were my friend, too.

 I think that was one of your special talents: making people feel like your friend. Sometimes after you’d gone, your name comes up in conversation with people that I didn’t know you knew, and they make me smile with their own personal memories of you. Those moments are bittersweet; it never fails to lift my heart to learn new ways you brightened the lives of strangers (and even non-strangers). People like you are inspiring—this I hope you also knew. Thank you for living as an example and showing others that life is good, because for the rest of my life, I want to make that one of my goals. I hope you know that your life affected me so much, in ways that I’m still dealing with now. And those things we talked about?  I still believe them. I still believe in love and goodness in people, and you’re one of the reasons why.


11. To remind people that life is good, and to keep living

29 June 2010 @ 07:25 am

Dear Books,

You have always been there for me. When I had an overbite, crooked glasses, bargain-basement clothing, and no friends.. I had you. Always.

Love, Christelle
29 June 2010 @ 07:24 am
Day 1 — Your Best Friend

Day 2 — Your Crush

Day 3 — Your parents

Day 4 — Your sibling (or closest relative)

Day 5 — Your dreams

Day 6 — A stranger

Day 7 — Your Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/love/crush

Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend

Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet

Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to

Day 11 — A Deceased person you wish you could talk to

Day 12 — The person you hate most/caused you a lot of pain

Day 13 — Someone you wish could forgive you

Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from

Day 15 — The person you miss the most

Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country

Day 17 — Someone from your childhood

Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be

Day 19 — Someone that pesters your mind—good or bad

Day 20 — The one that broke your heart the hardest

Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression

Day 22 — Someone you want to give a second chance to

Day 23 — The last person you kissed

Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory

Day 25 — The person you know that is going through the worst of times

Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to

Day 27 — The friendliest person you knew for only one day

Day 28 — Someone that changed your life

Day 29 — The person that you want tell everything to, but too afraid to

Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror