My best friend, Thomas Bosi, was killed on 13 October 2015. A drunk driver slammed into him and couldn’t be bothered to stop. He died on impact. His tragic, senseless, and untimely death sent me into a downward spiral. Only recently have I started to process this grief and felt comfortable writing about it in detail. Now that that my sense of denial has dwindled, I know he’s never coming back. So I want the world to meet one of my favorite people.
Bosi left this planet directly across the street from The Cave, with Methodist North in his line of sight. What an ironic twist. I know this fact endlessly amuses him. “Go figure!” I can hear him say, laughing and rolling his eyes. “And a drunk chick took me out?!” As a heavy drinker who had driven under the influence on more than one occasion, he would definitely see the humor. We certainly kept each other laughing.
There’s nothing funny about the fact that his death could have easily been prevented. It didn’t take long for the police to arrest the woman responsible for plowing into him. As they displayed her mugshot on television I began cursing and screaming. I hated her for what she did to me, what she took from me. And then it became increasingly complex when I realize I knew this woman. N0t personally, but someone I consider a friend and inspiration is extremely close with her. I made the connection and felt as though I’d been sucker punched. Once I put two and two together, I began to obsess over her on Facebook. I viewed her [mostly public] profile daily. Seeing a picture of her smiling from ear to ear– seemingly without a care in the world– taken after the accident. How dare she?! I despised her. Zero signs of remorse. Posting pictures that appeared to be happy and carefree. I seethed at the tackiness and disrespect. As far as I was concerned she should be miserable for the rest of her life. Resentment and bitterness crippled me.
But then I thought of what her loved ones must be enduring. I cannot even imagine how our ‘mutual friend’ feels. Knowing that somebody you love is responsible for something so awful must be a hard pill to swallow. Once I stopped using HER as an excuse to drink my perspective began to shift. I stopped referring to her as a murderer and saw her as a sick person who behaved irresponsibly while intoxicated and the consequence was fatal. She did not deliberately set out to kill or injure anyone. In all likelihood she was in a blackout. I don’t know what goes on in her brain. Maybe she was smiling to put on a brave face for her family. If she has a heart and a conscience– who’s to say she’s not consumed with guilt? Waking up every morning knowing that a person was dead because of you must be one of the worst feelings of despair. Struggling to sleep at night because you cannot escape the harsh reality of what you did.
I thank Bosi for teaching me an immensely valuable lesson: forgiveness. I let go of the hostility and forgave her. Thoughts of seeking vengeance or wishing negative karma on this woman disappeared. She will be punished for her crimes in a court of law. It is not my place to serve justice. It is my place; however, to hope that she is able to forgive herself and welcome her with open arms into the rooms of recovery if she so chooses. His devout Catholic faith would have done the same.
I’ll never forget the first time I met Thomas Bosi. Z and I received an exclusive invitation to The Cave. A gentleman with a bright smile, glasses, a button up white shirt, sat on the bed talking animatedly. His speech and mannerisms were like none I’d encountered in Raleigh. He introduced himself with a grin and a firm handshake. We bonded instantly. I found myself drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Due to his short stature, unmistakable walk, hyperactivity, speed, and volatility– he was dubbed the ‘Italian Stallion.’ Seeing him always brightened my day.
Z and I parted ways [a fiery incident Bosi never tired of me retelling] and I contemplated my next move. Bosi invited me to stay with him and his roommates, Jojo and Stuart. Despite the chaos all around us…those were some of the happiest weeks of my life. We created a sanctuary among the madness with our own personal oasis. Every night we’d eat like royalty, candles lit and music blasting, talking and drinking for hours. If not for the Italian Stallion I never would have met the man who became one of the most significant of my significant others, one of the great loves of my life. But that’s a story for another day.
My time in Raleigh ended when I went to treatment. While the boys were mainly boozers, I pursued other substances. No one was more thrilled that I left than Bosi. He supported me wholeheartedly in my quest to get clean. I’ll never forget the time he put on a suit and tie to come visit me in detox, bringing along comfy clothes and magazines. Or the times he visited me at Grace House, joking about his ‘lemonade stand’ and enthralled by the special friendship I shared with Birdie. After I graduated he drove out to Germantown multiple times to pick me up and accompany me to AA meetings. Did he want to go? I doubt it. Just like I doubt he had the money to put gas in his car for non-essential travels or insist on always arriving with a present. But he always made time for me. He always wanted me to know how special I was to him. He let me be the center of the universe.
About a month before he passed Joey and I got into fight. I left Pine Lakes to put distance between us and ran into Bosi. He started laughing and shook his head when I told him that my boyfriend challenged me. During a pause in my venting session he said: “The sooner Jojo learns that Sloane is always right, the easier his life will be.” That was the last time I ever saw him.
Now all I have are two measly photos and a lifetime of memories. Allow me to indulge in a few of these….barreling down Jackson Ave. in the car; the daring hotel rescue; psycho lollipop; that glorious dinner at Wendy’s; wreaking havoc in Nutbush; cheese escapades in Kroger; my perpetual bright eyes and bushy tail in the morning; pushing Randy up the hill; the main; doing the simultaneous baseball slides as we hit the spot at the same time; and most of all…TTP!!
Bosi, I miss you. We all do. Our neck of the woods will never be the same without you. Everyone tells stories with you in them. You’re never far from our memories. Goodwill even gifted us with the Thomas Bosi book! Larry has it now for safe keeping. Thank you for showing me unconditional love and friendship. It warms my heart when people mention how much you loved me. That feeling was always mutual.
Losing your mother plummeted you into a depression from which you never recovered . She thought you hung the moon and loved having you around as often as possible. You doted on her, ensuring all her needs were met, and provided her joy with your company. Everything went downhill from there. I find comfort in the fact that you and my mom talked on the phone occasionally. Did you try to get out of the way when you saw that car barreling towards you? Or did you never see it coming? I like to think you were on Cloud 9 out for a moonlit stroll to Walmart and felt no pain….and then you woke up to your beloved mama opening those pearly gates for you.
Thank God for Kevin, who saw the police and identified you, because you did not have your driver’s license. It hurts me when the news refers to you as the ‘pedestrian’ or ‘dead body’ and mentions ‘the homeless people in the area.’ You deserve to be mentioned– called by name. Thomas Brian Bosi. Just because you were living off the grid doesn’t make you any less of a human being. Your life was just as valuable. I wish we could have given you the memorial you deserve. I wish we had a grave to visit. I wish we had your belongings.
So yes, I think it’s more than appropriate that you are the recipient of my first name tattoo. Every time I glance at my right wrist I see your name. That constant, permanent reminder of one of the best friends I’ve ever had. A man of worth and dignity who taught me so much.in the year and a half he graced my life. He will not be forgotten.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,