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  • Jimmy Broccoli

Gehenna

[my love - please don’t be angry with me for writing about you…]


He’s withering away, like water evaporates…

In front of my eyes –

I squint and the view doesn’t change…

I close my eyes for a moment – then open them –

and he is still dying – he is dying and still…

His will to live – it is dissolving, slowly –

it is becoming sand between my fingers…


It will be 15 days until I will want no more of this life

____


Yellow roses are for friendship – or for love if yellow is your favorite color –

it is mine and he fills the dining room table vase with 2 dozen of them –

I breathe them in deeply, dramatically, and dreamily –

and the entire world explodes - becoming glitter and New Year’s confetti –

He smiles and the shit day at work – it disappears – worries disappear –

he takes my hand in his and there is no fear – there is no sadness

____


“I’d like to buy a drink for the gentleman over there”, he tells the bartender…

“he’s drinking some expensive shit – you sure?”

“Yeah – he looks lonely – he looks sad”…

the empty glass before me suddenly and unexpectedly becomes 2/3rds full

- as the bartender motions his head to the left –

I look there – and see him – I notice his smile (first)…

Shyness glues me to my barstool as the handsome man with gentle features approaches…


“Patrick”, he says – and I respond, “Jimmy”, nervously - with my insecurities exposed and fragile

____


I lay now beside his body that does not breathe…

he’s naked, on our bed - and I do not think of him as defeated

I close my eyes for a moment – then open them –

As he is still and lifeless – as he is lifeless still


terminal illness is a fucking monster with its mouth wide open and waiting…

and it does not leave the room until it is ready to leave -

…and it does not leave the room empty-handed

____


“You know he’s too good to be true, baby puss [yeah, she calls me “baby puss”]…

My best friend pops her gum – as she presents the shot glasses -

a double for her and a single for me

“he seems to like me”, I respond – and she smiles – genuine and lovingly –

“he’s so much better than the shitheads you’ve been dating” she says as she downs her first double and pours another…

“and he’s more handsome”, she adds with a cunning smile -

“Yeah”, I respond.

as she pours me my first and then pours me another


his demeanor is a gentle wind carefully embracing and uplifting the feathers of a bird in early flight

his hand in mine is paradise – I don’t let go because I don’t wanna –

“you don’t have to”, he whispers softly and seductively into my ear…

[“then I won’t – I won’t ever”, I respond]

____


his body with my arm around it – around him – one final time

We lay still, together –

We’ll lay like this for hours…

____


“baby puss…” and she says no more –

because there are no words to say –

She takes my hand in hers as we, together, look at the ugly wooden object in front of us –


The wreath is placed upon the coffin - and

his mother falls upon the earth – her pantyhose and fancy shoes not caring about the dirt and the mud and the minister and the people with their umbrellas and the hymns and the onlookers and the other family and friends and the all-encompassing grief and the horror, and the disbelief, and the fucking want – the fucking need and the urgency to just fucking die and to lie beside him right now – to lie beside him forever and to not get up – to not move again as long as he is there –

his mother is screaming…

she is screaming – like I’ve never heard anyone scream before –


…and nobody stops her

…[and I cannot stop looking at her (as others look away)]

I watch her as she falls apart – I watch her while I listen to her scream

____


Our first photo album - open and upon my lap –

Photos of our first day at the beach together –

He looks really happy – and so do I

both of us in swim trunks and shirtless –

I look away because I just fucking can’t -

And I do not flip the page because I just fucking can’t

____


“I don’t know what to do next – I don’t know what to do now”, I say


And she pours us both a double

____


It’s 15 days later and the phone rings…

and I do not care

and I do not answer


and I do not hear it


Photo: Jimmy Broccoli.


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