Guest Columnist #70 - Memorial for Sera

    "I promise you nothing and I accept your promise, of the same wave we are riding which may either carry or crash, life is a journey, and I want to go."
—Nikki Giovanni

    In the five years I knew Sera Bilezikian, that crazy crashing quote was the one that appeared most often in he dozens of letter I received from her. It came to represent what I thought of as the brightest streak in he shining ore that made up who she was when she wasn't losing the battle with fear: an unforgiving and relentless desire to explore life, to shine a light in to my darkest corners of existence.
    It was devotion to and love for humanity that drew Sera and I together through letters and zines, that bound us together from the green mountains of Tennessee to the gray streets of New York. With our word we made a pact to struggle together against the big darkness in the universe. We swore to fight the shadows in our hearts, to fight the things that cause us to say no to life. Her existence and our friendship were protests against death.
    Activist, traveler, musician, and one the best goddamn writers I’ve ever me, Sera lost the good fight on January 12, 2002, when she drove her truck over the Susquehanna River, turned around and traveled halfway across the southbound side, and leaped into the water. The lives of hundreds of people across the country were dimmed in the following weeks. The darkness crept up; it hung around our throats tighter.
    It's impossible for me to understand what it means to talk about my best friend in the past tense. I still don't realize she's gone. When I pick up her letters, handwriting erratic, disregarding the blue lines of the paper, the loss destroys me again. It will happen hundreds of times before it's over. Her death has diminished those who knew her in way I can't even imagine right now. It crashes across the country; it terrorizes too many hearts.
    A horrible truth that I had forgotten as my heart began to grow darker and harder is that some people manage to stay put despite the awful ravages of the world. But how can something so tender remain steadfast forever? The bright parts of her heart were never corrupted, but they were infected, perhaps destroyed, by the harshness of our reality.
    Sera, even in death, you're cracking through my hard shell and helping me to see the world. You get tied to the resurrection of our past our hope for the future. Our insides and our resolve have been made large by this. We fight harder, we hold our friends tighter. We are sure to say love to each other.

    "Please, as I've said so many times before. Expect the world from me, I need to prove it to you. Even if I haven't been hurt quite enough."
—Sera Bilezikian, Sympathy Cards for the Police State