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The bad of 'good'-byes

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I wrote a letter to a dead boy the other day.
Wait.
Let me rephrase.
I wrote a letter to a dead friend the other day;
Neatly stacked all the pages;
Folded it four times until it was almost square;
And took black thread and wrapped it up until you couldn’t see the paper.

Then I curled my hair.
I put on my dry eyes.
I slathered on a fake smile.
I slipped my reserved looking black dress over my head.
I stepped into my ballet flats.
And I walked all the way up that isle;
All the way past those 6 pews;
All the way up to his corpse without crying.

But I saw his face.
I saw the face of a dead boy, of a dead friend.
I saw the chill that hovered just above his eyes.
I saw the invisible fog that crept around his arms.
I saw the emptiness that encased his hands.
I saw the emptiness.
I saw the emptiness.
I had my letter;
Addressed to:
Aaron Stamper
Golden Mansion #?
Cloud 9, Heaven

That’s when I began to feel my fingers again;
When I realized I’d been holding my breathe for a while;
When I noticed that the vibrations I was feeling,
Was me:
My uncontrollable shudders;
My racking sobs;
My retching heaves;
All me.
Almost falling apart;
Almost.
But letting the thread wrapped around that letter,
Hold me together for a little bit longer.

So I moved my hand.
It didn’t even feel like it was mine.
I looked down and watched it move towards the dead body.
Towards the cold and dread that weaved in and out
Of his pores that the morticians had clogged up with
A pasty orange makeup.

I looked down and watched it move towards his hand.
And then,
I knew it was my hand touching him.
I knew it really wasn’t just someone moving my arm for me.
I felt it myself.
I felt something I can never forget.
I held the hand of a dead boy.
I held the hand of a dead friend;
And I cried.
I simply cried.

His fingers were soft and old;
Almost as if they were withered.
They held wrinkles beyond his age.
The nails of his hands were well manicured;
Perfectly suited in an acceptable manor to be put 6 feet under.

And when I expected there to be more,
For an angel to whisper some riddle into my ear;
For someone to come and sweep me up,
To carry me off;
When I thought that some cheesy music,
Would start playing in the background.
Or maybe we would all listen intently,
As we heard the gates of heaven open up;
With a gentle groan;

Nothing happened.

I gathered my arms to myself.
I steadied my legs.
And I walked past 6 pews,
Counting all 33 people.
Women sitting respectfully
With their panty-hosed legs crossed.
Men strategically tilting their head
At a 35 degree angle
To express their condolence.
I walked.
Letter-less.
Back to the 7th pew
And sat down.

From there, I just
kept on breathing.

And I never said goodbye.



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