Marco Mazzucco

Submitted by: Lisa Bonanno
Date: Monday, August 10, 2020 @ 09:27:49 pm

I knew Marco for the last two years of his life. In the beginning of our friendship, we talked about philosophy and culture. He’d traveled overseas and read serious books. He thought deeply about things. At that particular time, there were only a few such people in my orbit. Marco was rare and refreshing, a glimpse beyond a gritty reality.

Over time he withdrew from our group of friends. He stopped laughing and began to criticize people, when he showed up. Phone calls and messages went unanswered for months.

Then he showed up at my back door on a hot summer day. He was wearing long sleeves and pants. He offered to clean my house. Though he denied it, I knew he’d relapsed.

My friends and I continued to reach out to him. His refusals were always gentle and polite.

But one day we heard of his death by heroin overdose. We stood silently in line at his viewing. One friend led me away as the tears welled up, sat with me in another room as the grief poured out. I had a Narcan kit and lived only 5 minutes away. If only I had known! That cruel fact still haunts me.

Marco himself still haunts me. I see him playing tennis whenever I pass the courts where he played with his father. I see him when I walk past his home, and sometimes in my dreams at night.

I’m fortunate to have known Marco. He inspired me at a dark time. I wonder what he would say about the world right now. No doubt we’d be discussing it. I mourn for his future as much as for his past.