Patrick Shannon's Hilarity Ensues
Our pal Patrick Shannon has returned with his Gun Shy Assassin column, but on a somewhat pensive and sombre note. Check it out.

Tonight, on the television, so I am told, there was a tribute to some friends of mine. I hadn’t really planned on writing about this until the end of the year — if ever — but somewhat fittingly, time has completely flown by, and by the time I hit the send key it will be close enough to count.

What in the world happened in 2011? I can’t really find the words for everything that I want to say, but it really wouldn’t matter. If I had such mastery of the language that every imaginable combination of words were readily at my disposal, I still couldn’t tell you or the world how badly I hurt for all of my friends on a daily basis.

They haven’t invented words for that yet.

Another thing is, sometimes I think there have probably already been a few too many words spoken, by people that didn’t know my friends, or maybe people that thought they did but kind of didn’t. I guess when these things happen, the world is free to say what it wants. That doesn’t make the world any easier for the amazing women in their lives, the family across the country, the friends across the world, the close knit group that still hangs at the bonfires at Mike and Jess’ because they don’t know what else to do, and last and probably least, me.

The whole thing was and still is so surreal that I couldn’t bring myself to relive any portion of it. Not yet at least, although judging by the Social Media Monolithic Empire, the tribute brought some level of comfort to several of my friends. That, I’m afraid, is more than I’ve been able to offer. 

Maybe it’s silly to expect the impossible of yourself, as if there is some sort of magic incantation or ritual that will make all of the pain go away, and I’m letting everyone down by not knowing what it is. I guess in all of the pain, the only thing that is left is to realize how truly blessed we are to have the people we still have with us, and how inspirational their strength is, and how deeply and passionately the group that remains loves each other.

I don’t think I’ve told my friends how much I love them as much in my life as I have these past months. So I’ll just roll with that as a positive and make some attempt to get normal in 2012, knowing that every ounce of desperate sadness is eclipsed times infinity by people I love dearly, but that I am powerless to help.

The burden of the human condition is relentless it would seem. Still, no matter what the case, the beauty of recovery may lie in the simplicity: how could 2012 be any worse? I’m almost afraid to find out. I hope you all saw the tribute to my friends Ryan and Zac, but I think I never will. I wish you all knew them, because everyone they met was better for it.

Entertainment Patrick Shannon's Hilarity Ensues: For Ryan And Zac