Sometimes after work, the three of us would go over to his apartment and watch a movie, or meet one of a variety of strange, vaguely sinister but altogether vulnerable people from walks of life I never encountered before and haven't since.
In that apartment we watched movies by the half. "Walk of Shame", which was too bad to finish; "Divergent", which was fine the first time around, but the DVD player didn't have a remote so when it inexplicably skipped and had to be restarted none of us could bear watching it again; "That Awkward Moment", also terrible; episodes of the first season of "Orange is the New Black" - but we didn't do much of that because it made him uncomfortable. Oddly enough, "Broad City" went over the best, in a room full of people of different races, different religions, different genders, different sexualities - we were all rolling on the floor, laughing hysterically at the antics of two cute stoner Jewish girls. His apartment was also where he turned to me mid-movie, about a month before he died, and said he'd seen a trailer for "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and thought that it looked like a movie I'd like. I had already seen it in theaters and I did, in fact, like it. I was impressed that he knew my taste at that point and I remember thinking, Okay. Yeah. We're pretty much friends now.
Stories about work and my coworker used to go over really well. I got to share the experience of being in the orbit of someone whose actions belonged in a movie. This crazy guy. This crazy guy who feared no one, who let his instincts determine every move he made. Then, after he died, I told that story, too. I couldn't help it. There was a part of me that knew he probably wouldn't live long - he'd already gone through seven lives by the time I met him - but it didn't change the shock of him disappearing one day.
I still work at the same place. I used his office for a couple of months before I got a promotion this year. They're going to be tearing it down soon, replacing it with something new. Things aren't crazy anymore. I don't tell those stories anymore. I also don't feel the need anymore to tell strangers about this larger than life, generous, infuriating, self-sabotaging, creative, resourceful, generous, kind person who I used to see every day and never will again. I don't think about him much anymore, really; I thought about him so much in the weeks and months after his death that the memories started to feel like carbon copies, like maybe I couldn't trust myself to remember him as he was. But I pass that apartment almost every day and when I do, I send a salute to his memory, hoping that I won't forget.