The first time I heard this song was in October of 2007. I’d heard the news that my step-brother was found hanging from a tree, alone in the wilderness of Idaho that morning. I wasn’t particularly close to my step-brother but, still, the news cut deep. I was living in Spokane at the time and walked to work. It was a 45 minute walk and I’d just bought the latest Interpol album: Our Love To Admire. I thought I’d listen to it on my way to work. The song, Pioneer to the Falls came on and there was something about the haunting lyrics coupled with the suicide of my step-brother that brought me to a sobbing mess of tears before I made it to work.
I love this song, though it doesn’t make me cry like it once did. I just think it is an incredibly beautiful song with beautiful lyrics. It evokes a story in my soul that I can’t quite suss out completely. It is a story from a dream that is there but not quite there at the same time.
I received some really sad news this morning. My mom told me that her cat, Dexter, died this morning. I am going to miss him. He was such a sweetheart. Such a cuddler. Whenever I picked him up and gave him a little squeeze he would literally hug me back. He let me hold him for a couple of minutes but then that was it. He would wiggle out of my arms and go back to whatever he was up to.
When I lived in Spokane I visited my mom often and since I don’t have pets of my own I really became close to her pets. I love animals and try to make friends with all of them whenever possible. Dexter and I were good friends for most of the time I knew him but there were a couple of years when our relationship was on the rocks. One day I was playing with him and, for some reason, I thought it would be fun to play catch with him so I threw a dog toy in his direction. The toy accidentally hit him. He was absolutely stunned. He immediately left my vicinity, shunning me entirely. For two years Dexter would leave the room when I arrived. TWO YEARS. He would have nothing to do with me. I am not sure what I did to gain his trust back, but he finally decided that we could be friends again and he let me pick him up and snuggle him. But man. That cat held a grudge!
I was reminded* that yesterday and today is Dia De Los Muertos. This is is very interesting because, as you know, I found myself thinking of Gary, the boyfriend who died in a car accident when I lived in New York. It is weird that my mom sent me the photo that was taken the day I found out he died, and also weird that he died around this time of year. His birthday was also the end of October. So he has been on my mind. I feel like I should write about him more, but I don’t even really know where to start.
I remember our first date. It was summer and he took me to a party at a friend’s house. We had the best time together that night, innocent fun! Laughing and joking with each other as we had a few beers from the keg. Alphaville came on the stereo and he remarked that it was his favorite band. I’d never heard of them, so he went to the record player and put on his favorite song, Forever Young.
It kind of gives me chills that THAT particular song was his favorite, since he died two years later. But every once in awhile it will play on my iTunes and it will make me think of him, which is nice.
Along those same lines, this morning as I was walking to work, “A Song For You” played randomly on my iTunes. This song has special meaning to my mom especially, and to me since my mom told me her story about it. I only hear it if comes on randomly so when I hear it I feel like it is Doug, trying to get my attention. It was strange that it played today on my walk, but it was nice to think about my Step-father this morning as well.
I wish that American culture embraced The Day Of The Dead. It is a beautiful holiday and it is a beautiful thing to remember those who have passed over. I am glad I had these moments to think about Gary and Doug. Their stories and their spirit will forever live on.
Under the overpass
I lay here only just
In the dark
The sound of the
Tickles my ear and
I want to crawl
toward the sound to the
But all of my
bones are broken.
“This will be my
Last Summer” I think
As I lay dying
And then I wonder if that
Will be my last thought
Or maybe it will be
*Hi there. Sometimes my mind goes to dark places. Now you know. Ahem…This was a poetry writing exercise from the book Writing Poetry From The Inside Out. The exercise is to come up with a poem out of four words. The appendix of the book has a section of word clusters and I like to shut my eyes and put my finger on a set of words and see what comes out. This dark poem/story came out of these four words a couple of weeks ago. And then, weirdly, I found this lone shoe in the forest. I think I read too much Stephen King when I was a teenager.
This is a poem to my Grandpa Ed
Who tells the story of the day he met my grandmother.
Who tells the story about a dance. He saw her and loved her.
Who tells the story about how he fought for her.
Who tells the story about how he won her over.
This is a poem for my Grandpa Ed
Who was thin and dying, lying in a hospital bed.
Who was dying from a wasting disease.
Whose last words to me were,
“I like you hair short. It looks very pretty like that.”