Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Every class has its clown, and Johnny was one of them. He was one of the first teenagers I met when we moved to New Jersey years ago, and he was always so much fun to be around. There was always a joke. He was always a clown - always the life of the party. That's why his call late one night came as such a shock to me. I was still a little blurry from being awakened by the phone, and I heard him say, "This is Johnny. I called to say goodbye. You're the only one I thought it was worth saying goodbye to." I didn't like the sound of that goodbye, so I asked him to tell me where he was, and he had actually broken into my office to call me. I asked him to wait there until I could get there. We talked most of the night. No clown, no jokes, no life of the party that night. The life of the party was about to check out of the party for good. Johnny poured out the pain that he was feeling from a messed up family and some disappointing relationships. He'd been on his way to kill himself. Thank God, by dawn, he had decided to live. And I knew there was a darkness now that had been hiding all along behind a mask that said, "Hey, no problems."