Our friend did not understand. He said over and over again, “But we were going to go to Jacksonville on Friday. But we were going to go to Jacksonville together on Friday. I don’t understand… we were going to go together to Jacksonville on Friday.”
He called and asked me if I was sitting down. “What is it?” I demanded. He said murdered. My roommate was shaking me on the ground, “What’s happening?! Who’s on the phone?!” Our friend is hiccupping weeping saying my name somewhere through plastic. You were like purple inside a silver wrapping. Good chocolate, not finery- one you’d want to have around after dinner. Like a soft sweatshirt you keep. The way the pelicans always drift over the beach.
In quiet tones with your good posture. Four minutes, they said. Drew grabbed a dishtowel and you said, “I’m a be all right.” As you stumbled to your knees. Then your back. The front door wide open. It was swimming pool blue when our friend took me home to your home and I sat next to your brother. And Drew looked up at me like I could fix it. Your mother was invisible, being handled by other mothers. And I was wandering why I was in your living room. I hate these wallpaper flowers. It was bronze foil folded into paper planes that pressed down and there was no escaping their heaviness. We all sat around. Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could.
Our friend was thinking of going to Jacksonville with you as he vomited outside the church with you inside it. I vaguely comprehended shaking and the way mother moved my walking… that the spastic cries resounding off the vaulted ceilings were in my voice. You must have been cold. Your sister ran her fingers through your hair and kissed and kissed you. You must have been cold.
Shame something like this would bring us all back together again, huh? Yeah. Shame. Years later I am on your plot, my hand on your carved stone hands. I drew them that one springtime we were closer. I said, “You have beautiful hands.” Fuck.
“Please go,” you said. It’s such a mess. “Don’t come back here, Shan. Live, okay?” Okay. "Come on McCarthy." Like you helping me put on my coat.
When the breezes come on certain nights I remember your sunset smile with the sea spray. Surfing like little birds into a cotton pillow of oblivion. Whispering little radio songs I never want to hear again. Dancing tiny steps that echo once and trail off into green grass. Cold stone. The vinyl smell of the bus. Little crumpled red maroon velvet and things we lost. Grade school kisses. Surf boards glide with the sharp fin underneath. Things gone by. Every wave breaks. All gone by.