Requiem in A Minor…


thinking … 

Every now and then I remember people from the past. I remember things they did to me or ways they made me feel.  I think about mistakes I made with them, ways I violated them or they violated me—how our lives are better or worse for having known one another.  On occasion when I think of them I stalk them on the internet: Twitter, Facebook, google.  I don’t use Facebook myself.  I thought of him, so I typed his name in google.  An obituary popped up—his name and the city I last knew him in. I still wasn’t sure.

remembering … 

We were young. I was probably about 27 or 28.  We met online.  I was lonely but married and fighting the fact that I was/am gay … because Jesus.  He invited me over. We had drinks.  His townhouse on the North side of  Baltimore felt like … home away from home?  He was welcoming. So I drank and I stayed a while.  We fucked, that time … and continued to fuck frequently.  It was a circus, really.  Around the second or third visit he gave me a key and the security code.  I should have known something wasn’t quite right after that, but  I didn’t ask enough questions. It never occurred to me to do so because it was home away from home.

discovering … 

A few visits later I discovered I wasn’t the only one who had a key and a code.  They were assembled in the living room, drinking just as we had.  He drank until he couldn’t remember the next day.  Regularly, there were boys in the bed asleep.  He woke them up to indulge the necessities of his soul in the dark.  I played my part in the bacchanal.

Later I found out that there were always people there … because, at 25, he was afraid of the dark and couldn’t stand to be alone.  I never knew what happened to him in the dark that made him afraid, and I never knew who abandoned him; he may have told me, but I wasn’t much interested in being an active listener at the time.

After that I discovered that he was also an alcoholic, that his father had abused him (or abandoned him, or both … I wasn’t sure).  Then I knew that he was running from demons and losing the race.

He had given me a key that I was no longer interested in using. I didn’t feel the need because the door was always open.

inquiring …

I opened a fake Facebook page and checked the date on the obituary against the date in the photograph of the tattoo on his back; it was the same: born November 8, 1978, departed Monday, June 27, 2016.

He is dead.

In the pictures his skin is an odd looking grayish black. His neck is alarmingly thin.  His eyes are still empty. It looks like kidney failure, like dialysis, like  no desire to live—like undefeated demons.  It looks like he may have drank himself to death, or fucked himself to death, or willed himself to it, or all of it. He is a dark convergence of defeats.

remembering …

I remember his fear. I remember the tears and tantrums of his inner child.  I remember his reckless abandon swirling around the bottom of empty liquor bottles. I remember him asleep and waking up wondering what he had done.  I remember him waking up to do it all again and not remember.  I remember thinking that he gave the worst of himself away because he didn’t know the locations of his best.  Resources.  We use the resources of our flesh and spirit to convince others to love us. Most often, currencies of the flesh cannot afford the love of strangers.

wondering … 

Did he die alone? Where was his mother? Did the wounds ever heal? Was he afraid or relieved? Did those few months do damage?  Did I somehow help dig the grave?

What exactly was it about me that he attached to?  What did he want so much, knowing at the outset he could never have it? Why was I there?  Why didn’t I ask more questions?

thinking … 

How ironic it is to live in darkness while being afraid of it, to solicit the company of others and still be alone. How strange to give keys and open doors, but never let anyone in. How fruitless to always seek satisfaction in things that have never satisfied.

R.I.P., A minor.

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