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
We tried to cheer you up on your birthday later
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.
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
A long painful death after such disappointment in life
Was too much.
You still sit in your little vault
An ash called despair
I’m a lot older now and have suffered
Now facing getting old alone
Nothing panned out: all came to nought
I wonder if I should have been as you