Rob and Taylor spent four years together, sharing some of the best and worst times of their lives.
It’s taken me almost a year to write about Robbie. I’ve tried so many times and I just kept deleting everything I wrote. And then I’d start all over again. Nothing ever felt like it was enough, and nothing I say will ever be enough, so here goes nothing.
Robbie and I met almost nine years ago when we were 20. I was visiting Long Island from Pennsylvania and we ended up going to the same rave in Brooklyn with some mutual friends. Robbie came up behind me and we danced together for most of the night. I immediately felt a connection.
We spent that weekend hanging out and he even came along for the ride to take me back home. We texted non-stop until the next time I came for a visit, and after a few more times back and forth, I decided to stay in Long Island for good.
Robbie, however, had already made plans to move to Binghamton and I was afraid that our summer of love would be coming to an end. But I didn’t let that happen. I’d get out of work every Friday, hop on the LIRR to Penn Station, run to Port Authority to catch a bus for a three-hour ride to Binghamton, and then I’d turn around on Monday morning to go back to work in Long Island. I didn’t care, I wanted to be with Robbie whenever I could.
I could go on for days with stories about him, all the fun things we did, all the bad times we had, but I’d rather talk about who he was. Robbie was a diamond in the rough. He was the sweetest, most thoughtful person, who could also be your worst nightmare. He once surprised me with front row seats to Cirque du Soleil and then started a fight and got us kicked out. He so badly wanted to please the ones he loved and yet he often couldn’t control his temper.
Someone once asked me why I loved Robbie. I just did! We got each other. We both loved to smoke weed and have crazy, fun adventures. During our early days together, I didn’t really see that much of his dark side, and even when I did, it didn’t change how I felt about him.
Robbie was innovative, creative, imaginative, deep, daring and incredibly resourceful. He was also charming, passionate, loving and kind. He was surprisingly popular–everywhere we went in Binghamton or Long Island, Robbie had someone he knew and who loved him.
And all of us who loved him knew that he had two sides. Robbie was also depressed, angry, aggressive and dangerous. He was occasionally narrow-minded, harsh and impatient. He was impulsive and sometimes could be jealous. Robbie was Robbie and we all loved him for him. Even when we hated him, we loved him.
Our last year together was a rough one and when we eventually went our separate ways, Robbie said we couldn’t just be friends because he loved me too much. I thought maybe if we weren’t together, he’d find happiness. I thought it was my fault he wasn’t happy. I didn’t realize how deeply sad he really was.
Even though Robbie and I hadn’t talked in a few years, I didn’t think he would leave this world before we got to make amends. I’ll always wonder if there was something more I could’ve done for him. In the back of my mind, I always thought we’d get to say our piece and would be happy for each other.
I never thought that our final goodbye would be me and my six-week old daughter attending his funeral. I can’t seem to get that surreal day out of my head. I keep thinking that it was just a terrible dream.
Now all the bad memories don’t seem to matter. I just wish I could’ve helped him realize how special he was and how much he was loved. Robbie was so much more than he gave himself credit for.