I run a terrible risk by writing this down so soon, but I need to write something. Yesterday, March 7 2018, My friend Savannah Blair committed suicide.
There is so much I want to say, want to write, but the emotion is just too daunting and inhibits my words before they even come out. What I want to say most about her has already been said. She was my friend. I remember her when we first started working together in the UT Tyler Writing Center, she and another young woman named Rebecca were always infectious, because they were always laughing and talking, and one wanted to be near them laughing and talking as well. I was fortunate in that they found me, at least moderately interesting, and over time I became a confidant and occasional resource. But to Sav I owe so much because it was because of her honesty about being queer, at the time bisexual, that helped me eventually come out of the closet. Her strength gave me confidence and I was able to be who I wanted to be without fear.
I could talk to Sav about books, about life, about writing, about sexuality. I’ll never forget her for introducing me to the word “Vagine,” pronounced Vaj-een.
There is the compulsion to speak honestly after something like this. To blame myself, and to say things that are in my heart and bleeding out. It should have been me, not her. She wasn’t supposed to be the one to do this. She was so young, she had so much life to live, and so many great experiences to have. And I’m just the rotten fuck who sits behind his typewriter pontificating ad nauseam letting his life amasses behind him while so many long stupid pointless thoughts collect in infinitely empty word processors.
I’m still here, and she’s gone, and I get to fucking writing about it. It’s not fair, it’s not right.
I’m gonna miss the laughter. I’m going to miss the conversations about being gay.
Gay Movie Night will never be the same without her.
There was so many things I could have said. So many texts I could have sent. So many opportunities to ask about her, to see if she needed anything, and I was absent.
There were lots of times she would compliment me, my writing, this blog. I would defer this compliment reminding her that there were other far, far more talented writers, but she wouldn’t budge often saying she wished she could write something for this site, or just write something period. I would alway tell her to just write something, anything, and that it just took time and practice. And I would always offer the chance to publishing something she wrote here. I wanted her to write something for this site because she was my friend. White Tower Musings is poorer, I am poorer, for never getting her to write something for this site.
I keep saying, writing, thinking, over and over again, “It wasn’t supposed to be her. It was supposed to be me.” This is survivor’s guilt, but it’s also from an honest place of conviction. I would trade place with her right now if I could, but this selfish bullshit reveals the fallacy of suicide because it’s the logic that if one trade’s place with the victim that somehow the pain would go away. It doesn’t, it would simply shift somewhere else. And it does a disservice to the person who we lost. And I’m tired of being a shitty friend.
Savannah Blair. Sav. The girl who got drunk with me and played pool at XLN with friend, the woman who had never seen the Birdcage until two weeks ago, the woman who loaned me her lipstick at Gay Movie Night, is gone.
These words are a paltry summation of a life, and like I always reminded Sav, I was never that good a writer. But I have this space in the world, and I wanted to leave something for her. To leave some record that she was here, that she was loved, that she was beautiful, that she was fucking hysterical, that her life was not insignificant or pointless. She was here, damn it, and we were better for having her here.
Sav was my friend.
I love you girl. I always will.
I don’t want anybody else dying, I know that’s impossible, but anything I can do to keep someone else alive I will. So I’ve provided below a long list of materials in case the reader knows someone who runs the risk of taking their own life.
Available 24 hours everyday