I took this picture my freshman year at St. John’s. For a lot of us, our work with Event Mgmt Staff is the origin story of our friendship with Jason. My other “brother” Tito was already an SJU student & building manager by the time I was enrolled, and he helped set me up with a job that would color my entire college experience and beyond. I’m pretty sure Jason was the first person I was paired off with for a shift in the UC, though that could be my brain distorting memories to try to bring him closer to me now. Who TF knows. All I know is good times were had from very the start. I vividly recall a few of my thoughts that stand out from those early days—“wow Jason is so nice” and “wow Jason must really love that huge black leather jacket…” lol. I also have clear visions of him in the staff office. When I’d see him I would make the shape of a heart with my fingers and hold it up to my heart. He’d do it right back, and sometimes he went first and I’d be the one reciprocating. Our little nonverbal “I heart you”….

I wish I could take a giant megaphone to the top of the highest mountain on Earth and yell “MY FRIEND JASON WAS THE BEST GUY EVER”… but these posts will have to do. For the record, i seldom, if ever, do stuff like this. I hate social media but I love Jason more, and I think it’s safe to say we’re all processing in the best way our brains will allow us to. I’m personally being drawn back to words and writing and that’ll serve well as my megaphone for now. I’m grateful to be able to reconnect with that creative part of me, and I suppose I have Jason to thank for that, though if I could make a deal with God, I would happily accept a lifetime of writer’s block in exchange for my friend’s return—easy. Obviously that’s not the way this works…so I’ll keep rambling within the character limit, use different variations of pretty laid out phrases, all ultimately saying the same thing: My friend Jason was the best guy ever. EVER.

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