We spent a lot of time together when we were young. He had always drunk from wells he did not dig and warm himself by the fires he did not build. He was a taker. He was one of those friends who, wasn't a friend at all, but a far better actor. I remember his life choices were always ones that were calculated only for his personal gain.
Somehow, later in life, he had become a hero. Most real heroes I was aware of, looked quite normal. Unfortunately, he made sure he was one of those heroes that were in the spotlight, drew the crowds, and garnered attention from the press.
For every false hero like my childhood friend who made sure he was always in the spotlight, there were dozens of real heroes in the shadows.
He had become wealthy, powerful, and famous. Those who knew him well would say his achievements were the result of many underhanded deals. It was said he never did anything for the public good unless there was an adequate press coverage acknowledging the city leaders patting him on the back.
He thought of himself to possess that splendid quality of conviction while those who really knew him would tell you he was simply bullheaded.
He passed away today. In the end, he had failed, not realizing that constant use would wear away anything, especially old friends.