Marque. Emphasis on the second syllable. It bugged the hell out of her when people mispronounced it.
I never had to worry about that, though. I just called her M.
We had a lot of things in common, not the least of which was bipolar disorder – what she called her "beautiful curse". Her critics thought it made her weak; they hadn't the slightest clue how strong she was. Sure, she got knocked down a lot – not surprising, considering how many people lined up to take a shot – but she kept getting back up.
That fortitude inspired a heck of a lot of people. People all around the world.
Two weeks ago, Marque took a blow from which she would not get back up. I’ve had a really tough time reconciling it, to be honest – not just because the tragedy seems impossible to me, but also because my relationship with Marque was of such a unique nature. Our friendship was as troubled as it was deep. The kinship we had discovered was a bouquet with far too many thorns per stem. And before it was over, situations reached the unbearable. I found myself turning away from someone I had once loved like a sister.
I vanished from Marque’s VOX ‘hood; she vanished from mine. People noticed and rumors circulated, fortunately without much drama. M’s writing began to wane in frequency as she fought through personal issues I no longer cared about. Indeed, the entire Team Marque dynamic seemed to be fully destroyed. Our mutual friends couldn’t believe that two people who had stood together against some the vilest slime ever to be slung at VOX were no longer even speaking to one another.
Four days ago, when I read the news that Marque had died, the emotional confusion was new and profound, and it was quite some time before I could even put two sentences together on the subject. There was so much angst and resentment there, so much anger and disappointment, but there was also the distinct residual effect of a true and earnest friendship. Having been laid up with a serious chest cold, I’ve had plenty of time to sort through it all and come to some resolute closure. The whole of my feelings on Marque’s passing were summed up most succinctly as I listened to a section of the song playing on my iPod:
When my time comes,
Forget the wrong that I’ve done,
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed.
Don’t resent me,
And when you’re feeling empty,
Keep me in your memory.
Leave out all the rest.
I’ll move on from here remembering Marque Thompson for all the things I loved about her: her creativity, her sense of humor, her perseverance, her zeal.
I’ll leave out all the rest.
Good night, M.