So as I'm sitting at work yesterday and checking out Facebook I happen to notice a couple of old High School people's status messages. They both referred to the death of someone we went to school with. Elliot Thompson. The first name was a name that I knew, but it also could have referred to a couple different people. The last name I had no clue of so I was at a loss as to who they were referring to. So I inquired from one of the individuals as to who they were referring to and what happen. When the girl responded she gave his name and said that he was shot and killed. I told her that the last name didn't ring a bell although I knew of more than one Elliot from high school. She then replied with a description saying he was a barber at a particular barber shop. I replied back that it can't be the same person I'm thinking of and expressed my condolences for his loss.
However, the person I had in mind had the same first name (I couldn't recall his last name) and was also a barber, it was not at the barber shop she mentioned. She replied back that it was indeed the same person and to go to another high school person's Facebook page and he had a picture of him up on his page. Well when I finally got around to checking out the picture it was after work hours. As I'm looking at the picture on my phone. It hit me! Damn That's E.
I went home after that and found the news story online here.
Of course like any death of someone you know it causes you to reflect on the person and memories of the person. Well to be honest Elliot was not even a friend of mines back in high school. I knew who he was and would see him. But we didn't speak and I didn't have any classes with him. Elliot was a couple years older than me and in fact he actually graduated in my brother's class in 1996. After high school he became a barber. In high school believe it or not I had braids. But towards the end of high school I cut off all my hair and began getting hair cuts. Well I was first going to a particular barber at the shop I was at. That was until one day that barber wasn't there and that's when I saw Elliot. Or E-Ness as we referred to him as. I didn't even know he cut hair. But I went to him to get my hair cut and began going to him regularly after that. I believe he even cut my hair for like my prom.
Well for whatever reason I started using a different barber after a while and eventually found myself having my hair cut with the present barber I have now. I've been going to the same barber I have now for probably 8 or 9 years now. My barber has changed shops quite often and of course I would just follow him and go to wherever he was cutting at. From time to time he would relocate to a shop where Elliot was cutting at as well. I would of course say what's up to E and chat with him etc. A couple of years ago my barber had a party at his place and invited everyone in the shop. Of course Elliot was there. I recall kicking it hard that night with him especially. Well eventually my barber changed shops again and then at the end of last year my barber opened his own shop.
This was a great deal as I had seen my barber grinding going shop to shop and he definitely deserved to have his own. Needless to say that slow but surely many of the other barbers he cut with back in other shops began coming over to his shop. Probably a few months ago I went in for a cut and I saw Elliot. To be honest I probably hadn't really seen him since the party a couple of years ago. We hollered for a minute and were asking about each other and what was going on in each others lives. We both spoke about our kids and I remember that he spoke proudly about his daughter and I about my son. Ever since then when I would go to the shop I would see E and say what's up and holla at him for a sec just to see what's good. When I went to get my hair cut this past Thursday prior to going out of town for the weekend I saw Elliot. He was chilling sitting in his chair on his laptop like I often saw him doing. After my cut I walked past him and said what's up and we shook up. Who knew that would be the last time I would shake his hand.
So although I didn't kick it with E often or holla at him outside of the barber shop he was still someone I considered a friend and to be cool with. His death is tragic and very sad. I think about his daughter that is most likely around my son's age and it saddens me even more. Gun violence is so rampant in the city. But when you see and hear about it as tragic as it is we still are distant from it. However, when it hits home it really hits home. It's just such a shame that a young man (age 31), a father has been taken away and most likely over some nonsense.
I hate to sound preachy and we all hear this often. But its true no one is promised tomorrow. The friend or family member you see today can not be here next week. So embrace your loved ones and friends while you still have them amongst you. As Ice Cube said in his song Dead Homiez "Cuz nobody really ever know, when it's gonna be they family on the front row." Real Talk.
R.I.P. Elliot Thompson aka E-Ness