Man Minute: Next Sunday

I’ll never forget the sight. It was awful. Like a bad dream that I couldn’t make stop, nor wake up from, except that it was real. I grew up in a small town. We had a railroad track that split the center of our village on Atlantic Street. You pretty much had to cross it no matter what, therefore having to wait on halted trains to change tracks was nothing new, except that something on this day seemed different. The line was longer. A few people were standing around. It was a Sunday. A blue sky, cloudless, beautiful Sunday in December. My mom was driving, and yet for some reason I got out of the car. I remember that I recognized one of my high school buddies standing at the tracks. As I walked toward the stopped train I saw a maroon colored, single cab truck lodged between the train and a large steel utility pole. In the truck was a young man whom I loved with all my heart. He was a senior and I was a sophomore. He was larger than life to me. I’m sure I was more like a kid brother to him, but to me, he was my best friend. And he was dead. The Sunday before my friend Jason went to Heaven, we were on a deer hunt. Because he was about to graduate in a few months, choosing a college was heavy on his mind. We were walking up a ruggedly steep hill on the way to some stands we’d hung high on a ridge. For some reason he stopped. You could...