Rest in peace Justin

January 30, 2009

I often have varying degrees of insomnia and tonight found myself up in the middle of the night checking my email. Someone who must have read my blog recently, has found a picture of the tombstone for Justin Brooks and emailed it to me.

I don’t know if I love or hate this drive-by emailer.

I have never seen this before. I have never been able to visit his final resting place.

This just got a whole lot more real.

God damn dude, I feel so sick to my stomach.

You can view a larger version of the picture by clicking on it.

Free Image Hosting at

RIP Justin Matthew Brooks, Aug 17,1980 - June 24, 2002

RIP Justin Matthew Brooks Aug 17,1980 - June 24, 2002

Justin Matthew Brooks’ website domain name was ” ” (someone else owns it now). That tells you everything you need to know about Justin Brooks.

My friend Justin was murdered. He was stabbed to death by James, my friend. Justin was also Jame’s best friend. It’s been almost seven years since Justin was killed. James went over to Justin’s apartment with a bowie knife and stabbed Justin over 60 times with it. Tell me, who could do that to another human being? Who would even deserve to have their life snuffed out like that? Justin had defensive cuts and stab wounds on his hands and arms. He died trying to escape from his attacker through the front door of his apartment. He was killed by his best friend, by my friend. In the trial for James they determined that Justin suffered trying to defend himself. Justin died from massive blood loss.

It breaks my heart.

If you had asked me 10 years ago who do you think is the least likely to be murdered by a friend? My answer would have been Justin Matthew Brooks. Justin was and still is the kindest, most good hearted and gentle person I have ever known. He did not have a bad bone in his body and I feel like it was a privilege and an honor to simply have known him and even more special that I was able to call him a true friend. I actually knew his younger brother Jeff first, as we were in the same grade and throughout middle school and high school had quite a few classes together. Justin was unique even more so than the rest of us. We are all unique and special as human beings but Justin was just one of those people who are on a slightly different level than the rest of us. I remember he always had this little bag hanging from his neck. One day at school during lunch I asked him what was in it. He told me his religious artifacts were inside it. I asked if I could see them and he smiled at me and as his smile turned to a grin he said

“Absolutely not, I could show you but then I would have to kill you.”

And he said it with a big cheesy smile, he always made funny comments like that. I wondered what was in it all year and eventually he told me but wondering about it is something I will always remember. It was just one of those little things I remember most. Justin was a grade or two ahead of me in school but even though he was older he always treated me as an equal and I truly looked up to him and admired him. I remember the summer I moved across the state to Seattle I was so greatly disappointed. That fall Justin was going to take me mushroom hunting with him in the hills and pastures surrounding our small town and I was very excited about it. Not because of all the mushrooms we would find, but because Justin was so god damn fun to hang out with and I just really looked forward to it. Justin had bought this wonderful book that was a guide for Pacific North West mushroom hunters and he was eager to try the book out. It told you where to find edible mushrooms and what to look for and how to tell them apart from dangerous mushrooms. It sounded like it would be an adventure. I never did make it back over the mountains that fall and as fate would have it I never did get to go mushroom picking with him.

The stories of his famous and over-the-top greetings are true. I will never forget his greetings. One specific day stays very vivid in my memory. I was walking off-campus, it was lunch time at high school and as I made my way up the sidewalk I was startled by someone screaming my name at the top of their lungs, very loudly. My heart climbed back down my throat and I looked up and there was Justin heading down the sidewalk towards me. I laughed, as I often did around Justin and especially when he was approaching me. You see, he was wearing his usual camo pants, army boots and black t-shirt and of course his brightly colored jesters cap, complete with bells. He also did not just walk towards you. He bent his arms up above his head and kind of wobbled side-to-side like a monkey or chimp might walk upright. He did that for at least 50 feet before he reached me and grabbed me up in a huge bear hug. He let go and calmly like he had not just monkey walked to me and bear hugged me, asked

” So, whats up?”

I used to get a little embarrassed when he did that because it was always in public and people who didn’t know him always stared and gave funny looks. I used to be very shy, so the attention and things used to make me squirm but Justin didn’t care, he would make you laugh no matter how goofy or silly he had to be. And he loved doing it in public, in front of everyone… but, that was Justin. Fun, care-free and the kindest guy you will ever know. I can’t tell you how much I miss the silly stuff like that. I can’t tell you how much I miss his friendship.

I did not go to Justin’s funeral. I just could not bring myself to do it. I have never visited his grave site, I can’t do it. Part of me feels like if I don’t see his grave than it’s easier to pretend it didn’t happen. That he is still here with us on this Earth. But he is, Justin is gone and I still can’t believe it. Justin is dead, he is gone, murdered by James who was Justin’s friend in high school and post-high school. James was my best friend in middle school (he moved away after 8th grade, came back for 10th grade, I moved away after 10th grade). James, who I spent many weekends sleeping over at his mother’s house, shooting BB guns at his mom’s rose bushes and getting yelled at, playing board games and other innocent activities.

James McLean murdered Justin Brooks.

What? I still can’t wrap my mind around it. I still can’t believe it. I still can’t comprehend it. It is still absolutely surreal and mind boggling. Surreal is an understatement.

I miss you Justin, very much. Rest in peace my friend.

Some of you are probably curious to know more about this unbelievable event. I will post articles here for you to read on your own if you want to know more.

This is a great memorial page written by Justin’s father, it’s short but perfectly demonstrates the kind of person Justin was. I suggest you read it. Justin was an amazing human being.

Here is two great quotes from Justin:

“My religion says that I am here to serve others. That is where I gain most of my jollies and such.”
-Justin Brooks

“Meditation allows oneself to see things in a new light. Meditation is more than just a mental thing, it is a whole body thing. Your body communicates itself to your mind. Then through any means you want, you can delete the undesirable things you see in yourself.”

-Justin Brooks

Justin Matthew Brooks memorial page

Below is a link to a search of the Daily Record news archive and you can click on the links and read about what happened to Justin, the days leading up to what happened and the trial of James McLean and the aftermath of what happened:

Search results of the Daily Record news archive (links of news articles about what happened).

Some punches hurt more than others.

Some punches hurt more than others.

First off, in keeping with being anonymous I have changed real names in this post and used planets instead *shrugs*.

I’ve been thinking about something a lot lately. I don’t trust women sometimes and I think it’s because of a combination of events throughout my life. But, one even that keeps popping up over and over again in my thoughts is Jupiter [celebrity last name] and yes she is related to the movie star, they are cousins. Jupiter is someone who I thought was my friend. We talked a lot, hung out sometimes (lived two hours apart) and played a ton of chess together (every day or two) via a popular chat/messenger program.

I thought she was a friend.

I told her about something that happened to me that I have never told anyone else, no one, not one single other living soul on this entire planet.  For whatever reason I trusted her with this information and her response was flippant and basically a shrug of the shoulders. The fact she did not seem to care, one way or the other, probably should have been a clue she was not someone I could confide in but I didn’t listen to my intuition and opened up to her anyways. Six or seven years later and I still harbor some ill will towards her. Of course I don’t mean violence, but mostly disappointment, a little anger and some betrayal.

I will try to talk about this in as short a version as possible so all the details won’t be there but you will know enough to understand what I am talking about at least. Several months after I opened up to her it was like she fell off the face of the Earth. One day she just stopped talking to me, didn’t answer her phone, didn’t answer her email, didn’t sign into messenger anymore (I later found out she had put me on block/ignore), absolutely nothing. Over the next month I tried to call her a few times and I sent a few emails but it was blatantly obvious she did not want to talk to me and I had no clue why. Neither Neptune, Pluto or Mars (my ex girlfriend and two of her friends) had any clue what was going on either, they did not know why she wasn’t talking to me and in fact had not had as much contact with her either but absolutely nothing like what she was doing to me. They all had no clue why Jupiter had seemingly decided I don’t exist. It was obvious she wanted nothing to do with me, I just wished she would tell me why so I did not have to wonder WTF I did wrong.

About six or seven months later I was walking to school in downtown Seattle when we bumped into each other on the sidewalk. She tried to keep on going without even acknowledging that she looked directly at me and without a doubt saw me. I turned and asked her to stop for just a minute. She stopped and turned around and I asked a very simple question.

I asked ” Why? “.

She rolled her eyes and shifted her weight and said loud enough for everyone within a 1 block radius to hear:

“I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to know you. I don’t need anymore friends in my life. I was only nice to you because you were dating my friend, that’s over now, so F*CK OFF!”.

Then, she walked away to the chorus of  “Ohhh’s”,  “ahhh’s” and laughter coming from the Metro bus stop we happened to be standing next to. I think I might have even heard an “Oh snap!” in there somewhere.

I have not seen or heard from her since.

As humiliating as the laughter and staring was, I did not really pay attention to it, or care. I felt like I had been hit in the stomach with a sledge hammer or kicked in the balls by a chic with pointed, steel-toed cowboy boots (if such a thing exists). I literally felt sick and ill to my stomach and utterly baffled and caught off-guard. I was shocked and confused how someone I trusted and thought was a true friend could in the blink of an eye rip me apart and toss me aside.  At the time I thought she must be an evil bitch or mentally unstable or something because she showed me both Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hide. A few weeks later I was talking to Mars and she told me she did not know why Jupiter treated me like that but she did enlighten me to not take it personal as she knew something I did not. She told me that Jupiter had become extremely jaded towards anyone born with a penis. But, I could not help but take it personal and all these years later I still feel some hurt over it.

It also did not help that I had a pretty big “crush” on her for like a year before all this first happened. I hate the word “crush” but I don’t know what else to call it. I would not say I was in secretly in love with her but I did have a lot of feelings for her and I was never able to tell her how I felt about her. This is a common throughout my life. Jupiter was not the first girl I could not express my feelings to and she wasn’t the last. Of course also I was with Neptune for most of that time so I would have never acted on it anyways. My feelings and desire may have wandered a bit but I am not a cheater and never have been. Yes, the thought of acting on my wants had crossed my mind a few times but out of respect for Neptune I never even really considered it. On our one year anniversary Neptune left me. It was without warning and I had no clue she was even considering it. Clueless seems to be a common weave throughout my life.

Some girls have even called me “Mr. Oblivious” before.

After Neptune left the thought of hitting on Jupiter did rattle around in my mind a few times, but she was my friend (or so I thought) and I did not want to screw up that friendship so I did not go for it. Little did I know how completely and utterly misguided my feelings for Jupiter were. But anyways, Jupiter hurt, it really did. It blind sided me and to this day is probably the most brutal thing anyone has ever said to me face-to-face.

Okay, back to Mars, she told me in the six months leading up to this Jupiter had done a complete 180 switch. She had gone from an adorably cute, funny, full of life young woman to a jaded, man hating lesbian. Apparently her boyfriend, who Jupiter and I talked about frequently as Jupiter confided in me when she was going through tough times, had gone through a big messy departure from each other over events Jupiter never told me about. Jupiter and Mars were best friends, so Mars had info I never did. Jupiter had finally caved in and had sex with her boyfriend, losing her virginity. As fate would have it, the first and up to that point, the only time she had sex she got knocked up. She told her boyfriend she was pregnant and he dumped her and walked away from her. She must have snapped mentally as she both starved herself for weeks and attempted to use a clothes hanger as some sort of insane attempt to give herself an abortion. Not only did she lose the baby, but the doctors told her she had damaged her ability to have children in the future. Jupiter’s father was/is verbally and emotionally abusive towards her. We talked about her father a lot, she never told me about him touching her physically other than grabbing her by the arm or something but she often spoke of his verbal and emotional abuse. I think Jupiter must have been terrified of her father finding out she was pregnant at 16 years old. Mars then told me that she is now exclusively a lesbian and a jaded one at that. I knew she was bi-sexual but she had apparently had enough of men.

I understand she was screwed over by a couple of the guys in her life but if she treated me the way she did simply because my reproductive organs are on the outside instead of the inside, well, that is f*cked up in my opinion. I offered her nothing but my friendship and kindness and I honestly still feel upset over the way our “friendship” ended. I don’t know what I expected from her, I guess I just didn’t expect her to be that cold to me. She sucker punched me and I did hurt pretty badly over that for quite awhile. Having someone who I thought was close to me, turn on me like that, really screwed with me emotionally and mentally a little and even sitting here talking about it makes me a little sick to my stomach.

Sometimes I feel like Melvin Smiley, where his character could not stand the thought of anyone not liking him, I can’t stand the thought of people I know not liking me. I could not care less about strangers though.

Anyways, someone I cared about turning on me still has me second guessing women and their intentions sometimes. I am apprehensive about letting them get close… and in recent years have walked the other way when I felt myself starting to get emotionally attached. I get out while I can. I don’t want to, but I do it anyways.

I will talk more about myself and the females in my life tomorrow.