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  • Jimmy Broccoli

Everything I Do Is A Balloon

I never thought I’d be able to attend my own funeral –


But here I am

[sitting in the front pew at the church down the street from where I live]

and there I am in the open coffin –

and both of us are real –

I am alive – yet, I am dead –

I sit, yet I lay

I speak, yet I am silent

My tears are alive and wet and pouring out of my eyes,

Almost violently,

as I mourn the body and the life that lays in front of me


I sit alone in this church –

it’s not that I was not loved –

that’s not it at all –

I was SO LOVED – my goodness …

By so many I truly admire and adore -

They aren’t here because they don’t know I’m dead –

I didn’t send them invitations

and I didn’t place an announcement in Section C of the local newspaper -

They don’t know I’m dead because I didn’t tell them



30 days isn’t a long time when considering a full life –

30 days isn’t a long time when considering a marriage, or a mortgage, or a long-term career strategy –

30 days isn’t even a glimmer in the eye of the lifespan of the universe

But – 30 days is progress –

30 days is enough time to create a pattern –


To create a kaleidoscope of colors – and to purposely manipulate the colors into patterns – to place them exactly where I want them to be [to place them exactly where they need to be] – to adjust them, to shape them differently – to twist and to shape them as I see fit

To tear down and burn the dull colors for the vibrant …


30 days - it’s a milestone for anyone who is an alcoholic

[I’ll use “is” for now – but only for now]


… 30 days is a fucking eternity


I do not (and will not) walk to the front of a room with others applauding –

Me - ready to receive my hard-earned red chip from my smiling sponsor –

to revisit and revisit and revisit for years to come …

[coffee and doughnuts, coffee and doughnuts – coffee and doughnuts

“Hello, my name is Jimmy” – “Hello Jimmy” …]

… fuck that …


I’ve been through this before –

I’ve ridden this ride …


I’m a “former drug addict” – I am NOT a “recovering addict” –

I earned that badge already –

I spent 19 days in bed (bedridden) after quitting my drug habits –

I had to temporarily rehouse my dogs with friends -

I lost my job; I lost my fucking car – my roommates were going to kick me out of the apartment –

but grace – but grace – without it, I would have slept on a sidewalk –

I fucking earned that fucking badge [don’t’ tell me I’m “recovering”] -

… and I’m going to earn another one –

Goddamn it – I’m going to earn another one – even if it fucking kills me –


and it did –


… and I know this is true because I see my dead body laying only feet in front of me –

that body is dead –

I asked the mortician and my therapist and they checked – and they double-checked

- they confirmed that body is dead –

that body is fucking dead –


… if I allow it to remain so

[I will not pass by the pub on my way home from work tonight –

I will take the long way home -

I am not yet strong enough –

… but I will be soon]



I sit alone in this church not only in mourning -

I sit alone in this church in hesitant celebration!

I lay 8 feet away, my closed eyelids hovering just above my dead eyes

(and they are dead)

[stay dead! stay dead!

I do not wish to see things as I did before]



My friends don’t (yet) know I am dead –

Because I haven’t told them


I very much hope they like the man who stands before them now –

Who stands before them today –

… he’s a bit different


And I’m scared as hell –

and I’m scared as fuck –


that won’t be okay

that I won’t be okay


that I won’t be enough

that I won’t be fun anymore –

[I was the life of the party -

stumbling, stumbling as I walk up the concrete steps to my apartment front door –

my next-door neighbor ready with a Band-Aid –

as she, looking out her front window, sees me fall onto the concrete steps (again)]

I am scared as hell I will no longer be fun …



Do not visit my grave to dig up my remains –

Let me lay there – let me lay there

Let me lay there


Let me be dead


Let me be dead – so I may become something else

[so I may become something better]

I ask this in love, I ask this in love, my friends …


Let me become something else

[let me become something better]

and let my former self shrink and wither –

my bones dismantling from the whole –

let me, eventually, be soaked up by the accepting earth


… and let my body lay – and not be disturbed



Do not dig up my remains


Let me lay [stay dead! stay dead!]

as I learn how to walk

Photo: Jimmy Broccoli.

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