January 20, 2009

Life got jealous, but hey he be suppin' ale with the angels now

I do not talk of cruelty of one being to another but rather cruelty of life; a brutality of the natural that cannot be I undone. You cannot defend or save the victims. It is a malevolence of the clock maker that leaves me empty. The walls close in and claustrophobia courses through the arteries, closing them up, as the nightmare reveals in big green lights THERE ARE NO EXITS

My friends you are entering the realms of the magic theatre and it is for madmen only.

The car was rolling down the motorway and I was feeling sick. Ever since Friday when ma had said that because of the operation he only had a 30 % chance of living, this worm-snake creature has been living in my intestines. The doctors said he’d pull through. He had some kind of liver disease and needed a transplant. It was strange though, he was the most jovial character I’d met; 18, red in the face and a pint in the hand, cigarettes out of mouth nose and ears. Laughing, smiling, and spinning he really didn’t care about anything that mattered and was always good to talk to. You could tell by the light in his eyes that he’d found whatever it is that we look for. Is that thing happiness? Only those who have gone beyond the line know the answer. The week before I’d headed into the local public house and been visibly shocked that he wasn’t there. The girls said he’d not been into college for a week, called in sick. Fair enough but bloody hell he’d have to pretty sick not to head over the road to the Pub. That was his home. Something was nagging at me, something was not right. The worms were spreading through into my chest, into my limbs; it was only a matter of time till I’d be strangled. I was pinprick sweating as Dylan feeble crooned out of the car speakers. No talking. We drove past a stone workshop called Well Stoned. Pete and me smiled at each other in the back. A weak attempt to drive away the armies of panic that were invading.

We arrived at the hospital. Cold, uninviting, reminded me of a submarine; no way out with a limited supply of breath.

I tell you sincerely this was the most haunting experience of my life, and I pray that you will never hear and see what I saw. We entered the floor that his bed was on. Mary came through the doors looked at us, stopped. Looked at ma, her closest friend, and screamed as she fell into her arms. He’s going to die (there’s no way out) He’s going to die. She rocked in my mum’s arms. That scream. That scream. That scream. This is the cruellest thing I have seen and heard: The sound of a mother whose lost her son. I remember that moment and I don’t think I’ve ever moved away from it. I hit my head on the wall, trying to bang the reality out. He had cancer. It started two weeks ago; an aggressive bastard that had destroyed something so dear that I cannot quite describe with words. He had grown too big for Life, outgrown it. Life got jealous and threw him out.

Over his yellow, blood stained bed as he mumbled in a morphine-induced coma that he’d never awake from, we said the Our Father. As we stood there in silence my brother spoke through our tears

May the Road rise before you, may the wind always be on your back.

May you be half an hour in heaven before the devil knows your dead

And may we meet at another time, in another place.

And surely we must.

So, on reaching the churchyard gates,
Shadow written and alone,
Our journey's end, the final fate,
I knelt by his strange stone
And read silently his epitaph,
That stone carved text:

'Paradise we build in this life
Our household for the next'


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