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Where Have You Gone, Lonesome George?
Author: Shiloh

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Oh, how he hated that.
It struck a nerve down deep inside of him,
to hear me call him George Gobel, or Lonesome George…
He would retaliate by calling me Jane Wyman.
I reacted the way he wanted me to,
but only because I knew he was trying to hurt,
even though I didn’t understand playing with words then.
Name calling was not my forte,
and I wasn't very good with words then.
He didn’t like being called Lonesome George,
although I meant it as a compliment – I liked George Gobel.
He didn’t like the word “lonesome,”
becaues that was how he was,
most of the time.
I’m only assuming this, of course,
because he is beyond reach now,
and unable to counter my assumption,
but it was to play out in his life down the line.
And that is why I make my assumption as I have done.
He had told me, in many ways,
until I finally figured it out.
that he was envious of me.
I could not imagine such a thing!
My brother — envious of me?
He was the older, by many years,
and he had experienced things that I never would…
so why, and how, would he envy me?
Well, as Lonesome George,
he didn’t have the things he wanted,
the life he wanted,
the smiles he needed,
the happy moments,
the feelings and emotions that would have helped him so very much…
and he was jealous of those things that I had,
that he could never quite grasp…
He had two bad marriages, and both failed miserably for him.
He never owned a home in a nice neighborhood.
He never had children of his own.
He had a lot of uncertainties,
a lot of hurts and pain and lack of…
a lack of so very much.
He deserved better,
but he never found a way to find those things.
That had to hurt.
I had a house, paid for, finally.
I had a good wife and three fine sons.
I had good jobs.
I didn’t drink much.
I didn’t live like he was forced to live;
whether by his own choosing
or because that was what life left for him,-
crumbs at the edge of plates at the table that wasn’t his…
and I understand now how that must have felt.
Pity was not in his vocabulary,
and he wouldn’t have wanted it.
I just wish that he had gotten, at least once or twice,
the things in life that so many of us take for granted.
I don’t mean that I take the great things in my life for granted –
they were just the way most things are expected to go,
and I was fortunate to find them for myself.
Lonesome George never took that path,
never found those things,
and I think he knew he never would.
I’ll never forget when he put his fist through the kitchen wall,
when I jokingly called him Lonesome George.
I never called him that again.
He broke two knuckles doing that.
I never called him that again.

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Comments on this poem/writing:

Becky (107.133.200.6) -- Friday, August 17 2018, 12:31 am

In Hindsight

It is strange how we see things different when looking back. You captured the feeling of why he would not like being called 'Lonesome George'. Facing who we are, even in casual teasing sometimes stings.. Good write & read.
 
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