Bottles bottles took two bottles of prescription pills (one an antidepressant) one bottle of Thunderbird I'm only waiting for the world to cave in. Endgame. Dead. I'm already there, I know. Legs not going they're like rubber and they're not holding me up anymore and I can't think much a sensible thought through anymore they got a goddamned Johnny Mathis marathon playing on the radio Christ all I need but on it goes I can't stop it I can't even think about getting so ambitious that dialthing is much too fat away from this nice chair and much too complicated, now.
UNTIL THE TWELFTH OF NEVER
AND THAT'S A LONG, LONG TIME
All in my head truth to tell is you which is why I chose to pull the plug on me to begin with. I haven't seen you in a year or something but god DAMN it is hard to kill the image of you wedged in my head but that's why. That's why.
AND THAT'S A LONG, LONG TIME
I got all your cards and letters memorized and even now they don't fail me but ring and ring and ring.
“Joe please understand that despite what you think there is someone very special out there just for you.”
You so pristine in your presumptions don't get it. Ann Frank is dead and so am I. You apply your life on a different scale, one I wanted to share but terminal situation hoax I can't get into that world. Your life applies to people who go to the movies and believe all the shit they see. It applies to people who hear all those damn radio Johnny Mathis Marathons and believe what the songs go on about the cozy soft candlelight the fireplaces and the long walks on the beach. Every boy dresses like a perfect little Sears Supplement Mannequin. Hair never out of place. Delightful.
“There's a man in my life, now, and I guess you could say he's important to me...I feel healed, Joe, and ready to love again.”
IT'S NOT FOR ME TO SAY
Everything you say and write sticks into me like a knife, even with the booze and pills, it' hell, it's hell. I cannot wait for this to end.
“I am sorry, Joe, that I cannot be the one for you. You have misunderstood. There is and never was an 'Us', at least not in a romantic sense.”
Well, I'm a grown man, I've seen how things go and I certainly should have known better than to
“Things will work out for you, just keep trying. Please believe me, these aren't just words.”
half daze in me and GODDAMMIT that Johnny Mathis shit won't stop playing I fumble and get the phone it spills onto the floor but I manage to keep my grab on the receiver shit who is this?
“Hello, is this Joseph O'Connor?”
“Yeah.” Mute for a second and I hear tittering on the other side. “What are you laughing at?”
“Why are you laughing?”
“Nobody's laughing.” These people are playing some kind of a game on me. “Mr. O'Connor, this is Maggie from First National. Our accounts show you to be---” her babble trails off into some kind of inaudible nonsense, like someone turned down the volume on her vocal cords.
“I'm sorry, what?”
“I said that our accounts show you to be buzz buzz buzz...”
“I'm sorry, what?”
“Mr. O'Connor, are you listening?”
“Just speak a little clearer, please, I don't understand what you're saying.”
She takes on a surly tone of voice, and I don't like that at all. “Mr. O'Connor. What I'm trying to tell you is that we buzzz buzzzzz buuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzz”
“I'm sorry, what?”
“buuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzzz buuuuzzzzzzzz bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”
And I just let the phone hit the floor. Disbelief. They're playing some kind of crazy game with me and I just give up with them I
“I'm very happy with my new life,” you told me. It felt like a big blade slicing into the gut of me.
Call me when you get there, I said. You said you would. You didn't. And of course, in the mean came HIM.
I tried to bounce back from it I tried so hard to reconcile myself be your friend do the mature thing but it just hurt too much. Too, too much.
“If I ever share so much confidence in you,” you once said, “like if I ever in my letters mention anything sexual, please keep it to yourself. Don't tell it to any of my relatives or old friends or anything, because it's very personal....you I think I can share it with, because we've shared a lot of very personal conversation, but I'm into a lot of stuff, a lot of really unusual stuff....but I think I'm healthy.....”
Which became, “...and MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS about my sex life!” Damn, you, how could you, knowing, Jesus Christ, KNOWING how I feel about you, let me come right to the threshold of your bedroom door and the treat me like an unwelcome visitor? How? How?
you're beyond my reach
BECAUSE I WEAR A SILLY GRIN
Gone, gone, you live away from me sleeping in HIS secure arms you live in an old cottage on the ocean now in your platonistic joy staying busy staying occupied leaving me all alone with this pain
THE MOMENT YOU COME INTO VIEW
I'm not hanging out for any more of this hurt and torture so easy for you to walk away from I have to live with
CHANCES ARE YOU THINK THAT I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU
I can feel it all melting away on me this is good it can all go away melt away I don't want to be a part of it anything anymore I can feel it all submerging beneath waves of unconscious comfort I don't want to be conscious anymore I don't want I don't want
CHANCES ARE YOUR CHANCES ARE AWFULLY GOOD
I can feel numb my head is up here
my body is down there
I'm under water now bobbing sinking
too many wounds
your house I swear I see it your little cottage on the ocean and I'm going deep you're fading going dark in the wash of water forever I wonder if your manthing is with you now and I laugh I wonder if you ever did
last I heard from you I laughed I cried
“I would like to consider you my friend, still.”
I'm going away from this place now fading
YOUR CHANCES ARE
“Fat Chance” (circa early 90s) was a tough sell....one editor told me she “couldn't with any kind of conscience” run such a story. I finally placed it in a beautiful German Journal called THE MOWER ('93? '94?) and they ran it both in English and translated into German, along with another story I wrote. It was a great journal----featured gorgeous color plates and a split 7” single with Clutch----and that was my first exposure to that band, whom I liked very much. Still do.
Guy ODs to Johnny Mathis marathon on the radio....cute gimmick. The suicide was fake----the pain was very real and very personal. It was a good picture of my life at that time. Art---whether it was poetry, fiction, music with a band or a picture----its creation, perpetuation and preservation, was the only reason I didn't blow my goddamn fucking head off back in those days. It serves me well even now.
What I would tell anyone going through similar hurt is, put it out there and make it your gift to the world. You could save your own life, and who knows? You might save someone else's.
You never know.