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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Decay (#4 of 100)

(Part of a series: 100 prompts in 100 days or less)
Composed 9/12/12

(for Gil)
I am sorry that I never saw
the Pixies live.
I am sorry that Frank Black
(formerly Black Francis- or was it the other way around?)
is now old. And has put on a lot of weight.
I’m not sorry that he is aging,
per se, yet I am sorry to see this loss. I perceive it as a loss
of my youth.
A missed opportunity.
A decay of something intangible.
Something I never exactly held.
Something one only grasps for, or
can only hold for the briefest of moments
before it blows away
like so many dandelion seeds on the wind.
I did see the Breeders, Kim and Kelly Deal
sharing the stage under a white tent protecting
their instruments from the rain
on a November night
in a bar I was not old enough to be in.
I recall being crushed, picked up by the crowd of testosterone-crazed
men, and pushed forward to the point of
losing my breath
and I recall a man grabbing my ass
from behind me.
Shocked and appalled, I automatically shoved my elbow into
his groin
or wherever it landed
and got out of there, watched the rest of the show on the sidelines,
mad that I was now excluding myself from enjoying the show in the
way I wanted to
because a man had made the space feel unsafe for me.

So odd how the mind allows me to remember this
just as if it was a week ago,
rather than as if 17 years have passed.

I can remember Nils who had greasy hair and
a white-head pimple perpetually above his top lip
who asked me to
go see the Pixies with him
when he was 17 and I was 14.

I can remember gentle Gillam (sweet soft-spoken Gil) who killed himself.
I found out 5 years too late and could not attend his memorial
or even properly mourn his death. Only feel shocked by it, and saddened
that I hadn’t kept in touch.
I had always assumed it would have been his brother Ritchie who
would end up hurting himself-
he was the one who, it was said, tortured cats and bugs
in his neighborhood.
But Gil was gay and depressed and no one knew he was
hurting & he didn’t tell anyone.
I didn’t tell anyone either, when I was depressed. Depression is a disease
suffered alone, in darkness, until it is too late.
I imagine his decay began long before he hanged himself
from that rope, alone
in his apartment.
I wonder now how long it was before someone found him, and
I wonder if his corpse had begun to rot.

I always seem to have a piece of fruit
decaying in my fruit bowl.
My dear friend Liz said she thought it was because
I like to witness death, to watch it happen.
I think it is because I can’t bear to see something past
its prime go to waste. I cannot bear to
throw away
something that once
held so much promise.

copyright 2012 Omy Keyes (All rights reserved)

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