Back in the Day–Foggy Memories

In the last days of my misspent youth

You entered and left my life

Skinny English Toothpick

Sent to this town called Hell

From the mists of the North

You arrived in this desert

Your brain had turned on you

Forcing you to live far below your worth

At first you laughed and joked

And talked about music

You like to joke with me and tickle me

You’d flirt even.  You were way out of my league.

Androgynous and unsure

Cute freckles and blue eyes

Then the depression fell on you

The woman who took her life that we knew,

You wanted to know where did she go?

You dragged me along to clubs where

I didn’t belong

But a loser isn’t a chooser

Then there was that night

Right before your 22nd birthday

When a man took you aside for a chat

You came back and sat

And all life left you

You came back to the table

Silent

We tried to cheer you up on your birthday later

Nothing worked

You called and asked me questions

About things I could not answer

Is there a Heaven?  A Hell?

I missed all the signs.  I chose not to see.

In a cruel irony I got to take a trip to your country

The final blow?

When I got back I received the news

That they found you

Your brains blown out in a seedy rooming house

At age 22.

I had even visited your hometown on my tour.

There was guilt lurking.

All there was was a tiny bit of ash of you

Put into a tiny vault into a pavement.

Your name birth and death.

That’s all.

22.

I used to sometimes visit when I lived in the neighborhood

Wondering if the news you received that night

Sealed your fate.

Did you weigh the way that you would die?

Or did I guess wrong?

You took risks with your life and treatments were scarce

Back then.

A long painful death after such disappointment in life

Was too much.

You still sit in your little vault

An ash called despair

Aged 22.

I’m a lot older now and have suffered

Now facing getting old alone

Nothing panned out:  all came to nought

Hope fades,

I wonder if I should have been as you

22.

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