I remember being an adult when I was eight years old. The doctor that looked over my father in his last days took me to a chapel that existed at the very end of the hospice.
“It’s peaceful here, don’t you think? You could pray if you like.” The pieces seem kind of blurred now, but I think I told him that there was no higher power. Or something along those lines. He guided me over to an open book that sat in a glass case at the very end of the room. And I remember that there were a hundred names listed to a page.
“It’s how we pay our respects after they’re gone.”
I digested the endless names, all bland and with the same dull vowels. It seemed strange to me that the center of my world would soon become just another name in a book. The thought captured me mid-childhood, and the madness of life made me giggle. What lies they preach and how difficult it is to keep up with them.
A life was everything: and at the same time nothing at all.
Opposite me she sat with a frustrated look on her face,
Tapping her pen to fill the gaps in the silence.
“Why do you think you’re here?”
“Because of the bad thoughts.” I stopped and looked at her briefly;
But at the same time straight through her.
“What is a life?”
The hallways are the same as they have always been;surreal and sterilized.
I am fed up of hallways.
There have been too many hallways.
After Christ knows how long
A woman calls my name.
It’s almost midnight goddamnit.
I want to go the fuck home.
My head is pounding and my heart feels tight.
I want to try this evening again, but deeper this time.
A voice somewhere in the room asks a question but it doesn’t seem real because I am not really there.
It tells me to explain;I tell it to fuck off.
Outside there is a man with a scythe
And this time he is not calling for the suicidally depressed;
But the evil, the perverted, those possessed with thoughts of violence.
Through the early morning midst, he is coming for me
Whilst they try to drag me back to Earth by my feet.
Yesterday was in fact years ago;but time is a mysterious concept when wrapped in grief.
An old photograph sat upon the coffin,
Reminding me so.
Not yet my father, you sat cradling a dog in your arms,
Almost as a parent:
Or looking for the parent you never had.
Your hand gripping the collar with force,
Grounded in the room, engraved into the surroundings,
Yet a look of distance in your eyes as if your mind was flying in the sky.
If it hadn’t been for the nurses and doctors and the crowd of on-lookers,
I would have taken you by the hand and asked for one last conversation.
Who are you and where have you been?
What are parents if they are not eternal?
Was it fate, was it nature or am I a bad luck charm?
You were a two-sided coin if ever there was one.
One minute dominated by moods of joy such as the breakthrough of the Sun on an overcast day;
And then…the return of clouds again.
Who ruled you and who had you become in those moments?
Never to raise a hand;but the fist of a word is stronger.
Daddy, did I breathe too loud or tie my shoelaces wrong?
Two forces, one at each hand;the devil and the angel.
But it’s a grown up’s world with no heaven and no hell;
There is no time for a child’s fantasy.
And through generations events are carried as the stork arrives,
Engraved into DNA.
You were not yet my father;
But I was clearly already your child.
Daddy should I self destruct;
Or is it time to grow up?
And all we learn across the years through heartbreak, sorrow and pain
I saw in the eyes of a man in a chapel;
What an enviable gift he had.
For the man in white sold his mind and all his freedom,
All known logic of mankind-
In order to numb his scared and lonely heart.