My homey Ahmid Rodriguez was one of those childhood friends.
We met at PS 142 in first grade, I was a stuttering, hyper academic, misplaced child.
My first memory of him was him pointing out that my “terrible two tones”, a pair of jeans that were white on the back and blue on the front and saying “we gotta take you shopping, because those are wack. He didn’t make fun of me he just offered to help. This was the beginning of a long friendship.
We both had to deal with the same daemons, haunting us. Growing up in the projects to heroine addicted mothers, we instantly bonded.
After lower school we had different academic careers, I went to Prep for Prep and got a scholarship to an elite private school while he went to the local high school, but we stayed tight.
With drug addled parents we had the run of the streets and were able to come and go as we pleased early in our lives, in our pre-teens we roamed all over the lower east side getting into innocent trouble learning about drinking, and smoking and the ins and outs of the neighborhood. He was my link to the neighborhood, even when I was ostracized for “talking proper” or acting “too white”.
Over the years we talked sparingly, but the bond was still there. Last year I heard he passed from complications from Diabetes. It’s so sad that he passed from what is essentially a lifestyle disease but we all must walk our own path.
Since his passing its been a blessing to reconnect with his mother and cousins. Ahmid I love you you will not be forgotten.