Rest in peace, Jason.

What can I say about Jason, other than I’m utterly incapable of accepting that he’s gone?

I’ll start by saying that he was just pure freaking light. He was always a joy to be around, and luckily I got to be around him a lot. He’d show up to everything and for everyone, notably all my birthday parties, my mom’s house for dinner, misc happy hours, and simply when I needed an ear. For instance, I was once dating a dude that lived on 137th in Harlem and right when that relationship went up in flames I called Jason, who lived on 143rd. He listened to me cry and vent, comforted me and offered to quickly go kick the guy’s ass. He was a brother to me. He was smart, rockstar handsome, always kind, always a little pervy in the sweetest most gentlemanly way, and funny AF! He always made me laugh when I needed it. He was a go-getter. I mean, who else signed up for Ambit Energy because you knew your boy would be getting paid?! My light bills always reminded me of him, along with Rocky IV, Fat Black Pussycat (the bar!), 9/11, and so many other things, but that one birthday party at the Delancey was special…

It was the night before Hurricane Irene was threatening to swallow NYC whole (Jason would’ve made a great joke just now) but it was my birthday so we hit the Delancey in LES, and he showed up of course. Maybe it was just me, but I believe the thought of this hurricane wiping out the city and threatening our livelihoods just made us all dance a little harder. I’ll never forget it: “Keep on daaaancing till the world ends!” blared Britney Spears’ voice through the speakers, and the whole club went fucking nuts! It truly felt like the apocalypse but everyone decided to go down partying, us included. One of the most fun nights out ever.

I played that song on repeat today as I walked outside to try to catch my breath. In a way, the world has ended for a lot of us—the world as we knew it, where Jason was a sure bet to show up and without a doubt fill the room with love and the brightest of energies. Now we’re tasked with creating a new world where we dance even harder for him, even if he only shows up in spirit. My life will be forever marked by my dear friend Jason Drago—my badass friend who took risks, lived life to the fullest, and told me “i heart you” every opportunity that he got. I am so proud to have been his friend, and I am so lucky he was mine.

@ The Delancey, NYC. August 26th, 2011

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