newspapers are filled with short two and three sentence blurbs to report on the deaths of Black kids who, quite frankly, haven’t lived long enough or done anything important enough to merit an actual obituary. Today may be about the relatively unremarkable life of Jordan Spence, but it’s also a remembrance for the too easily forgettable, an obit for the obit-less, a small bit of recognition for the kids who could have been but didn’t see enough years to actually be.
I last saw Jordan several months ago. I was at a stoplight on the way to see the “The Hunger Games,” and my date told me that there was someone in the lane next to me, wildly gesturing for my attention. To my delight, it was Jordan, pushing a souped-up green Caddy --- possibly the only thing on the street as brash and loud as he was. Because of the noise of the street, we were only able to have one of those manic conversations where the body language and the smiles are more important than the actual words exchanged. (We both must have screamed some variant of “How are you doing???” and “What’s going on???” five times each)
When the light changed, he smiled one last time and sped off; possibly headed to the mall or Mickey D’s or his mom’s house or wherever else 21 year olds decide to go on Friday nights. The possibilities were literally endless.
When my date asked me who it was, I laughed and shook my head for maybe 15 seconds before finally replying “That’s Jordan. He was one of my favorite kids.”