I used to carry him… hold him aloft like Simba in the Lion King. (Cue The Circle of Life)
(The sun breaks through the clouds and a single ray of light hits us, and all the animals bow…)
But, don’t toss him in the air… he isn’t that kind of boy.
I used to carry him on my shoulders for hours… and it was no burden.
Through the park and up the trail…
And now I wear him like a necklace of lead weights
That slows my walking and makes breathing difficult.
(All these long months… I guess I have grown very used to it…)
We sent him off to college… in that Foster caravan
To the world of college girls and beer in red plastic cups
Of Fraternities and classes with real dead lines
And It seemed as though in some way he was made for it… (Look at the pictures!)
But it broke him…
And he broke rules and got in trouble.
Did something bad.
And those dark impulses and sleepless nights that had started in middle school
Came more frequently… and more intensely… that internal voice grew sharper and darker…
And nothing nothing helped.
So he suffered silently with depression and insomnia
And some kind of intense loneliness and self loathing doubt…
And Ambien, alcohol, benadryl and medical marijuana and gin…
Or acting like he was okay
And his money ran out… he tried to find a friend to sneak him into the commons for food
And could not…
So he put on a pot of rice
And went into the garage and killed himself.
We sent him to college
And he came home in a neat little box…
A yellow slip in my PO box had me pick up his ashes at the counter.
No… this wasn’t war. He wasn’t in Iraq or Afghanistan.
We sent him to college… not combat
And he lost the battle all the same.
I held him aloft and told him the world was his… all he could see.
Everything the light touches is your kingdom
Cue the music… the drums.
I meant every word of it.