until then

i leave hawaii tonight. i leave to newness. to travel, more adventures, old friends, new experiences, old memories flooding back.

there’s a nostalgia about this moment. a time where i would do anything to stay, but give everything to leave, too. the double-edged sword, the bittersweetness tickling my taste buds.

the people i leave behind, who they made me, what they taught me. why i am now who i am.

i’ll miss you. all of you.

connor penhall.

when i went to mexico with my friend brooke, we met some guys from corona, california.

they were so cool, raced dirt bikes and spoke in hollywood accents. connor penhall was one of those guys - this gorgeous blonde kid danced on up to brooke and i, shoeless on the makeshift dance floor, at a club right on the beach. it was new years eve and we were drunk off the night: the beach and the beers, smooth tequila and mexican music. his charisma was addictive.

we spent the rest of the night getting to know this cool kid from corona.

twitter, instagram and facebook kept us in touch from opposite sides of the world. we joked about visits to australia and reunions in mexico. a distant friend who liked my photos, sent unexpected tweets…and made that new years the most memorable of my life so far.

connor was killed today, struck by a drunk driver while working on the 10 freeway in baldwin hills, california.

it’s an absolute shock. i won’t say we were best friends - we weren’t. but he had that special thing about him, that thing you find in those people you meet along the way. he was someone always there, somehow there seemed a permanence about him - someone i’d subconsciously planned to cross paths with again somehow, someday.

the last facebook status update he posted warned his friends of a dui spot to avoid…the irony unmistakable. messages of love flood his wall. my heart goes out to his family, his friends. a magical person, taken way too soon.

rest in peace, connor. i hope you race the gnarliest of motocross tracks in heaven.

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