“What have I become, my sweetest friend?
Everyone I know goes away in the end.”
- Hurt, Johnny Cash (written by Trent Reznor)
Lately, every day feels like it’s the Day of the Dead.
I always wonder what it’d be like to drink one more
cup of black coffee with him from a chipped mug on the
porch as the sun goes down. I find myself thinking about
nights before supper, listening to her stories as she makes
biscuits or I imagine riding with him in his white pickup truck
around the fence line of his cattle fields, looking for calves.
Some days it feels like I’m watching a movie called, My Life
and each time it’s shot with different camera angles or lighting.
My favorite scene is when I’m seated with her on the boardwalk,
eating a sugar cone. Then there’s the one where I’m covered with
an itchy stadium blanket and he’s making a fire as we get ready
to watch the Saturday night hockey games in the “back room”.
Another great episode is set on the highways of New Jersey
and New York, we’re laughing about the 100 degree heat,
the hard work, our basketball games and getting easily lost.
Some days the regrets start up, I think you know what I mean?
It’s usually the unanswered invitations, the wasted moments
or the simply because the list is getting longer and the dead
are accumulating as I get older and I don’t like feeling this way.
Lately I’ve been thinking of others too, and this worries me.
Some days I stop to recall the old lady on the beach who
used to give us all candy, or a girl from elementary school
who was found dead, floating naked in our town’s river.
My Sunday School teacher’s granddaughter, she had a hole
in her heart or a high school classmate who feel asleep at
the wheel and never made it home from the third shift.
I wonder if others are haunted by the memories too.
I wonder if they’d confess too or if there are days when
nothing triggers thoughts of the ones who have left us.
Will there be a day when I won’t think of them or will I
keep shaking it off with a sigh, a laugh,or will I always cry?