Sunday, May 22, 2016

Birthdays and Balloons. Or: Ode To My Comic Book Brother

How do I tell you about my comic book brother?
Today's his birthday, the 46th from birth and the 15th from death.
15 seems like an eon, "get over it already!", 
But you can't get over missing a limb, or an organ, or your heart.

Sunday driving isn't the same without car dancing
Comic book movies fill me with love and sorrow on your behalf 
(Where are Nick Fury and Thor? Two of the baddest badasses
And why are Inhumans masquerading as mutants?)

Nobody shares the same stories that we did
Nobody shares my birthday, I thought I'd love that
But birthday candles and cake can't compare to the wishes I make
They always involve some kind of dream reunion

You and Dad and Charlie, Lily says you're up in the stars
Because I can't believe that Heaven isn't too far away
You would've loved all these nieces and nephew, Godchildren who would have blessed you
If only life hadn't had so many other plans.

I frequent our place in Quincy, the kids think it's "their" store now, too
I can't walk in the door without seeing your face, even the guy is the same... 
It took me 30 years to ask his name, but you know, the one with the ponytail and glasses
I'm too afraid to ask him if he remembers a boy with Brillo pad hair, because if he doesn't it will break my heart.

Sigh. It's your birthday. We'll send up balloons.  Balloons used to soothe me so.
Now every balloon is a minute, and there are too many balloons behind us, and too many balloons to go.
Because I fucking miss you.  I had to say fucking.  Nothing else was strong enough.
I have too many things and people here to want to go, to die any time soon...

But that just makes me ache a little more, because I know, I KNOW what it means:
Balloons, and longing, and missing you, and wishing you'd visit my dreams.

PS: Thanks a lot for making our last dance together YMCA. I look great bawling to the Village People.

PPS:  Happy birthday, Jay.  I love you. I miss you.  Come visit my dreams.

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