Every time I walk past the mural on the street where I used to live, I stop and stare at it. Memories of my friend, Jesse flood my mind. He was a phenomenal artist. I honestly think he was born to be one. It was his passion. It was what made him a beacon of hope for us. He rose above his circumstances. He created beauty in a place where violence, drugs, alcohol and crime were prevalent. He was a light in a very dark place. He made other kids and me want to be somebody–to pursue our dreams.
Jesse is gone. He was taken too soon. It wasn’t a bullet that got him or some random act of violence or drugs–he never touched the stuff. It was HIV. He got it from his girlfriend who got it from a guy she cheated on Jesse with. She’s still alive but it’s only a matter of time before she dies too. The guy she got it from died a couple of years ago. She said that if she had known that he had it, she wouldn’t have slept with him. Her mistake killed her and my friend, Jesse. I have long since forgiven her for what she had done. Hating her wouldn’t bring Jesse back.
This time, I brought a rose with me which I now place on the ground in front of the mural. It’s for Jesse. It’s a token of my love of a friend whose light has gone out of the world but it still illuminates my heart.
Our minds are like canvases and our imaginations are the brushstrokes.