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  • Jimmy Broccoli

Sometimes...There Are No Words

My best friend lies unmoving on the floor of the bedroom – he is grey –

I am here and I see him – “I am here (!)” (I exclaim) …

He is clay-colored grey,

grey, like morning sky grey when the brilliant, bright, and magnificent colors of the horizon are suffocating –

the shade of grey that whispers disaster …

disaster that levels houses –

that throws cars and trucks into the wild and violent circling air –

grey that looks like black after the lights go out…

I am pumping his chest in regular intervals –

as the 911 operator tells me to do…

while his husband is beyond hysterical –

His husband is standing, then he is pacing, then he can’t stop swearing –

then he is standing – then he is punching the fucking wall – then he is pacing and then he is frantic -

and I am pumping my friend’s chest –

The 911 operator is encouraging and pacing me – and I see my friend’s face is grey…

His face is fucking grey…

The COVID-19 masks are in the closed room where I put the dogs -

The paramedics are yelling at me to put on a mask –

The dogs are non-stop barking

– they are terrified and don’t know what it going on –

They are locked in the room for now -

“Put on a mask” (!), a paramedic screams at me again –

“If I open that door – that is where the masks are –

my dogs will fucking attack you – and they will fucking kill you”,

I reply blankly and without blinking

…through tears that will not stop for hours –

through tears that still have not stopped

(and, I’m afraid, they never will)

My friend’s face is grey…

And, suddenly and without warning…

I descend into a state of insanity –

I immediately and instinctively build a box around me –

around my mind and around my thoughts –

The box is confined, uncomfortable and without much air to breathe…

and I will not claw myself out of it for weeks…

Jesus, sweet and loving Jesus (!) –

I exclaim - with my hands held high into the air

…Don’t let him die – bring him back –

Do whatever you need to do –

Don’t let him die – bring him back…

I will wash your feet with my hair at the beginning of every day –

and at the close of every night –

I will shout – no, I will scream your name in every room I step into –

I will sing your praises every single moment of every single day…


Bring him back – don’t let him die – bring my friend back to me…

And…there is silence –

silence like when standing within the middle of the eye –

The force of the storm is ripping the land the fuck apart –

And, I stand here now – it’s quiet and it’s still,

While the world around me spins violently –

It’s coming…it’s coming…wait for it…wait for it –

The eye moves away from me and, without pause,

I descend into blinding hysterics…

Lilith, Samael… I call upon you –

With never-wavering devotion – forever and ever…

Beautiful and merciful Angel of the Morningstar –

I invoke thee! – I invoke thee! – I invoke thee! –

Please come to me (!) – present yourself before me (!)…

Lay your healing hands upon my friend –

Make him breathe again…

Just make him breathe again…

Just make him fucking breathe

We are following the ambulance at an uncomfortable speed –

though the sirens are off – and the lights are extinguished –

like when an announcement isn’t necessary –

like, when things are already dead -

and my friend’s husband is driving like he wants to die…

We’re told we have as long as we want with the body –

and these are the words that are told to us…

My friend’s husband lies near the bed –

He lies still (in unbelieving shock) on the hard and cold checkered linoleum –

I sit in a plastic chair only a foot away from the hospital bed…

I touch my friend’s cold face for a final time

and tell him how much I love him

My friend is grey – and he is dead –

My friend is dead

My friend is dead

and his husband remains on the floor, lifeless –

and I’m not confident he will get up any time soon…

I tell the nurses to leave us alone…

“you need to leave us alone”, I tell them

Now – it’s two years later – and I’m drunk as fuck…

Sometimes we heal and sometimes we don’t

Sometimes we accept our loved ones are gone and sometimes we can’t

And, sometimes our emotional wounds remain open and visible –

Sometimes time doesn’t heal anything – sometimes time don’t heal fucking shit –

Sometimes grief is just what it is – it’s grief and it is what it is

Sometimes it is just that – it is what it is…

and there is nothing we can fucking do about it

Photo: Jimmy Broccoli.

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