‘The Ballad of Victoria’
Growing up in life, I never would’ve made it out of the streets without my grandma. She was my biggest cheerleader. She would’ve done whatever was possible to see me graduate and make something of myself. For years I felt people aligned themselves with me for what they could get by doing so. If they didn’t grow up with me and were already in my circle, the motive for our acquaintance would eventually show itself. My grandmother succumbed to breast cancer on August 7, 2008.
My career as a writer started in October of 2011 when I decided to start SophisticatedIgnorance.net with members of the SoPhi team. With the magic of Twitter, our website ended up being popular on the campus of Ohio State. Soon enough, I had a witty Ohio State student in my mentions on Twitter. We exchanged slick talk and I followed her. I’d liken it to a puppy tugging at a huge dog’s ear, trying to get him to come out of his shell. I didn’t budge initially, I was merely humored. Then I began to notice that she read every blog we’d put out. Nitpicking grammatical errors but looking past them in order to enjoy the content. Then one day she said “It’s Monday, where’s the blog? I need to read it while in class.” That struck me. Not only did she support but she demanded our work. I’m not a pro writer. I’m terrible at it from the technical perspective. She didn’t care and oddly enough, I had a half-done blog saved in my drafts that I wrapped up 30 minutes later to push out. From that day on, I decided to keep Victoria close.
Over the next 3 years we became close friends. We sat on the phone and literally discussed politics, policies, and the financial markets abroad. She was shocked that a guy with my background knew what I knew and I was thinking, “This chick is smart as hell.” Platonic or not, I love my friends to be smart. We have to interact if we’re friends and I can’t stand a fucking idiot. She was a shoo-in. Not only was she a great friend, she became my biggest cheerleader. She occupied a void that needed to be filled from the moment my grandma passed. She’s the reason that I’m even writing books. People asked me for years but during one of our long discussions, she told me I’d be cheating the world if I never wrote a book. “Even if you don’t know how, keep a journal… Make it intimate so the world can see itself the way you see it.” In fact, Victoria was supposed to edit this very book that you’re reading. I jokingly told her “Since you love nitpicking, you have a job.” She was excited to do it and I was excited to have her. I have always felt that on important journeys, you bring along people who will enjoy the view as much as you do if not more.
Last fall, Victoria ended up in a relationship and seemed happy. Our respective exes had issues with us being so close so I decided to be there but fade back a little. We went about a month with little communication because my mother was getting knee replacement surgery. I had left the Fast 7 set to assist my mom for about a month. Sure enough (and coincidentally) the first two people who said they’d pray for my mom were Paul Walker & Victoria. You have to understand: where I’m from, friends aren’t made often. Be weary of many, trust few. Just like that aforementioned puppy, Victoria didn’t give up. She was determined to let me know that she was there.
When we reconvened our communication, the first thing Victoria said to me was “I will always be here for you and I expect you to always be there for me.” It was the first time that she was ever remotely stern with me. She mentioned how she couldn’t wait to meet the rest of us and hang out. We last spoke a few days prior to her passing and she informed me that she had her ticket. She asked about hotels and I said, “There’s absolutely no way you’ll stay anywhere but the house – you’re one of us. Moreso than us, at times.” Weirdly enough, the night of her passing I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night. I looked around and went back to sleep. I woke up later in the morning, prayed for my grandmother, and found out in the middle of the night that I’d lost a great friend. I immediately broke into tears. I’m used to death. Friends and foes have died all my life. This was different. This was someone with hope and promise. Someone who made the world a better place to be a part of. She was girly and an amazing young woman but in a moments notice, she’d turn around and be one of the guys. The death I’m used to is people who inadvertently signed up for it. It’s a part of the way of life. I admittedly couldn’t handle this. I cried for her. I cried to her. I looked off into the distance and asked her why as if she would respond. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I ended up with more questions than answers. The only peace I found was in the fact that she was at peace.
6 years to the day of the death of my greatest cheerleader, I lost my next one. It’s safe to say that I hate everything about August. August 7th and the surrounding week will always be tough on me. But I know that I have the best cheering section in the sky. I know there are at least 2 people putting in a good word for me. Gone too soon is an understatement. I’ll always wonder what I could have done to change things. It will always get to me. I did, however, get the chance to know a great person and gain an awesome friend. It’s odd because I keep everyone at a distance and few are called my friend. Many in the world missed out on a beautiful spirit. I can’t imagine someone getting to know her and not ending up being positively impacted. And that’s why I sing your song, babygirl. Victoria’s legacy will reach much further than she ever imagined. When you read my writings, understand that none of Self Medication would have happened without her. My only gripe is that Haz got to meet you and I didn’t. You know how that sum bitch is. You let him one up me. Something we’ll discuss another at another time. Just know that we all love you and your presence is truly missed. I almost gave up writing this book but I know you wouldn’t want it unfinished… Enough of these tear stained pages. Gangstas ain’t supposed to cry… SoPhi til we meet in the sky!
R.I.P. Victoria Muchiri
This is an excerpt from ‘Self Medication III’. SM3 is the final part of a 3-part Memoir. This Entry discusses the recent loss of a close friend, enthusiastic supporter, genuine person and selfless human being. I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Self Medication III comes out Dec. 23rd.
If you would like to purchase any of the Books in the ‘Self Medication’ series, including, pre-ordering SM3: The SoPhi Store