Pyramid Song

10 01 2010

I recognized the cry–the desperate cry that hopes beyond hope that everything will be okay even though it won’t be. It switches to agony until it is replaced by lost silent eyes. And then they go home to an empty cold bed where they have to take drugs to sleep otherwise see shadows and faces in the dark window.  

 The first time you lose the person that means the most to you is the hardest. I’m not saying that you can’t get hurt again. It’s just that you’re better prepared for the next time. You expect everyone to die. And eventually they will. The difference is that you know you will survive. Because you didn’t kill yourself off the first time even though you wanted to. The worst has already happened.

You’re never the same afterward. You think that you’ll never heal. And that whole bullshit line about time heals everything is just a line. By time that amount of time has passed, you’ve already forgotten how much it really hurt that first day, the first week, the first month, the first year. Those first days drag by with a miserable pit in your stomach and nothing means as much or tastes as good. And you’re constantly counting. Time is counted in postmortem minutes of first holidays, anniversaries and birthdays spent without them. You save everything that they ever touched. An empty box of Dots candy—the ones they shouldn’t have been eating because they were diabetic. Their Wal-Mart name tag—even though they cursed that place. Size 12 slip-on shoes. You insist on wearing them even though their 3 sizes too big. You wrap yourself in their favorite blanket until it loses their scent. After a while nobody wants to listen to you talk about your dead girlfriend anymore. They say you’re obsessed.

You relive that worst week of your life everyday for the next 2 years.  I spent mine in Chicago waiting for her body to be shipped from Michigan.  The funeral was delayed because they got the death certificate wrong.  I helped pick out a coffin at a Russian sweat shop. Her aunt talked her into heaven even though she was a pagan. The preacher sent us all to hell, because he was convinced that we were hooked on Ecstasy. I think he got the wrong funeral. They straightened her afro, and painted her face. I didn’t want to remember her that way, so I refused to look. She wanted to be cremated, but she got buried instead. I still don’t know where she’s buried. She died wearing the socks that she bought me for Christmas.  

Suddenly it’s 9 years later. And those 2 years that you spent together is a momentary blink– a few second yawn. And those 3 years you spent trying to find yourself back seem childish. Emery Jade happened before I started writing anything down. Before I realized that if it’s not written down somewhere, the memory will change constantly until you’ve got nothing left. It’s like the yellow blanket that she left behind–threadbare and unable to  hold in heat. And you don’t dare wash it because it will fall apart. But eventually you do wash it, and you keep it in some faraway tote in the basement instead of in your bed.

The first time I heard this song Rhiannon was driving us into Chicago for the funeral.

Pyramid Song from Amnesiac

I jumped in the river and what did I see?
Black-eyed angels swam with me
A moon full of stars and astral cards
AND All the figures I used to see
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt





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