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David... 35 Years Ago
Author: Shiloh

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You didn't look good,
and you weren't in a better place,
and they didn't do a nice job on you.
You were wearing a suit and tie, too.

There was quite a crowd there, though,
and I didn't know any of them.
Your boyfriend latched on to me early,
and would not let go.
He cried on my shoulder the whole time,
and I let him,
and I hugged him,
and I told him that he would make it,
in time.
It's 35 years later, now, David,
and I wonder if he did make it okay.

I was one of your pallbearers,
which I was honored to be,
but I would have rather gone for a burger
with you - a "D-D-L-X, W/C,"
a double deluxe with cheese,
like we used to do.
The Christmas lights were still up
on your house, clear to the top,
and the church organ you had built
into the back of your house,
first removing the flooring of the
back of the upstairs for the pipes,
was still there, too.

I asked for the bear that I had given you,
as I always called you Gentle Ben,
and had found a carved wooden bear...
your sister found it and gave it to me.
She has no idea how valuable that bear is to me.
It rests with my unicorns.

I have not gone to the cemetery
in some time, David,
partly because I'm older now,
and I see all around you
how it will be for me, one day,
and I am not comfortable with that.
I have not visited you, David,
because I stand there,
wanting to talk with you,
wanting to tell you that I loved you
as a brother - no - closer than that.
But I never seem to know what to say
to that silent stone that now is you.

You were born two years after I was,
and maybe that's why we got along so well.
I never thought that you would suddenly
just not be here any more,
but that's what happened.
You sure fooled me with that trick.
Probably fooled yourself, too.
I was 34 that day, and you were 32.
More than our whole lifetime to that point
has passed since that day.
And I wish that all I felt was just older.

There was so much good in you, David,
so much life, so much happiness
that you shared and gave to others,
asking nothing in return.
You enjoyed everything you did,
and I look back now,
and see that I benefited from that;
I learned some things from you,
but with you gone, I'm afraid
I have forgotten them.

Oh, I am angry, David - very hurt,
and very angry.
And very saddened, because you are gone.
Death puts a final wall up
between what was then, and what is now.
I can tell you that it leaves a person
with a less than comfortable feeling.

I never thought about death back then,
back in 1981, and I wasn't prepared at all
for your death.
It is something that I have had to work on
and I'm still doing that, I guess,
but not doing a very good job of it.
Going on without my closest friend
was not on my list of things to do.
I'm doing it, but it's not fun at all,
not a pleasant thing to do...
not at all.

I wonder where you are now, David.
Is there a Heaven?
Is that where you are?
I wish you could tell me -
maybe then I would be able to handle it
better than I am doing.
I stand by your stone, and I think these thoughts,
and they are all jumbled up and mixed up,
and I wonder where you are.

If you are anywhere, where you can do so,
please save a seat for me, next to you,
will you, David?
That would be fun again.

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