It was 24 years ago this weekend that my friend Eric was shot and killed on his way home from a nightclub I’d dragged him to. He would have been 45 years old now, had he lived. (Not really, though. Eric was not one who could have stayed in this world much longer. The world was killing him, one way or another.)
He was the 21st murder victim that year, a record year for killings on the streets of Portland. That’s what the corporate media said. But Eric wasn’t just a number.
This is Eric, in this painting. Years ago, after the man who shot him turned himself in, I wrote a story on Indymedia about it.
Tonight, as I was looking back, I saw for the first time the message at the very end. An email from the man who killed Eric. My friend. I forgave the man who killed him long ago, even if I wish he hadn’t pulled the trigger. And I forgive him still.
Suffering, forgiveness, and redemption. This is spring. New life, and renewal.