Thursday, November 19, 2009

The song you loved the most

Your body is probably being cleaned by someone right now, or it's laying on cold aluminum with a white blanket tucking you in for looks. It's only called bathing when you are still breathing. If a medical examiner wasn't in the same village, then maybe your jaw was tied shut when it locked up 2 minutes after you passed. Your face was strangely no longer yours- losing waves of microscopic patina in a tsunami of violence and saying goodbye in a way that I don't think you would have approved of.

They are scrubbing you with loofahs and alcohol, and then they are drying you off with hospital blue- tight woven towels which they have used on body after body before you- which will be laundered and thrown back into the circuit tomorrow after your hard skin has been released to family.

Maybe they are being gentle with you since your death. Maybe they aren't. If they liked you, I imagine a lengthy and beautiful ceremony- where they gingerly turn you and treat your genitals with dignity and sponge them with some kind of rich bitch salve, as if your now dead eyes could still see and your heart could still pump blood into your brain hard enough to make you shame them for taking short cuts with the final shower of your life- and only using 99 cent store vaseline to slick your unkempt hair back.

With a spirit squinting dead-like through eyes that shine no more, let me ask you... would using old roses from someone else's sad goodbye offend you after all you have been or would you laugh and thank us in death for treating you to your own funeral with limited funds?

Does it matter how they handle your flesh when you are dead?

I didn't wait hungrily for you, grandfather, to come home to us from my makeshift backwoods crib, bored and wanting to learn- like my father did. I didn't watch you scrub the kangaroo blood from your elbows in a gasoline tub out back. I didn't smell the whiskey on your breath when you threw me up in the air and telepathically conveyed that you loved me in some way. I never heard you sing the song you loved the most.

I took a nap today. I stopped by a party and saw old friends and strangers who looked like old friends doing the same shit that old friends did, but they were stand-ins in a dream. It was raining and I was fucking around with some umbrellas in a mud room, trying to figure out if I should even be at the party. The juke box had this one song that I had to play though, even if I knew I should be getting the hell out of there... Everyone was an asshole. Everyone was wasted. Everyone was on their own path. I became frustrated and left after making sure there would be no violence because of me. I left there with one regret. I never made it to the song.

You were there though, in monumental fashion for the first time, and I rowed you out into a night tide with my daughter. You made me leave you both there in the waves, and I had to find the strength in my despair to make it back to land without dying in my grief.

I assume that I made it back in a pitching midnight madness.

I wish you could have heard the song that I loved the most, before you had died.