whoever you used to be

I thought of you yesterday morning, whoever you are or used to be who now lives in perpetuity as a roadside reminder of a life lived and lost and wondered at and then; I passed the place where your blood was spilled and your heart stopped beating and your present became your forever past and your future became something that neither you nor I will ever know; it is something that your loved ones and intimates can or would or might imagine when they recall you and your dreams and your possibilities and the things that made you You and then; it won’t go beyond their thoughts and mine; you died there on an Sunday morning when you were on your way to church, they’ve said, you and your four buddies or friends and brothers; five of you left your shattered bodies in a mangle of twisted metal and broken glass and churned asphalt and concrete and cross-walk tape in and through the intersection that crosses the spillway and canal where people drive and walk and ride their bicycles past and wonder at your name and date of birth and date of death and the candles that sit there for you and your friends, lit as markers in the night and fading glimmers of souls in an April morning sunrise; those people see the Easter bunnies and Valentines’ hearts and Christmas garlands that your living family and friends attach and leave on the fence and railing that line the canal and floodway; they saw, back then, those few and several years ago when you left them and us, the five candles lit and maintained for nine days after your death that were surrounded by stuffed animals and cards and pictures and flowers that those loved ones left in their loving of and for you, those tangible and sundry things that spoke to the rest of us and you about their love and the things they wish they had said to you before that Sunday morning; we are reminded, in passing-by as passers-by, that you had and have birthdays that are remembered with tears and a drive to the bridge that is caddy-corner from a burger shop and across the street from a flower store and we see the blurry pictures of you and the lighted candles and poster-notes that you were and are loved by the people who made those pretty signs that tell us they do as we drive-by to here and there and so.  

I thought of you again this morning, whoever you used to be and are and felt compelled to go again to that familiar roadside and street corner and look more closely at what has been left behind for you and your buddies or friends and brothers in this Christmas and New Year’s season and found those tangible and sundry somethings that mean you were and are in the thoughts of someone and various somebodies, as there were three separate remembrances to you and them and then, three shrines or tributes in holiday wishes across the street from that flower shop and tattoo shop and nail shop and liquor store and sports-grill and Catholic bookstore…that same flower shop that has the barrel of pink flamingos outside the front door where they sell roses for nine dollars and ninety-nine cents a dozen with crumbling horse-apples in their gravel landscaping and I wondered about you with the cars driving past my back and the cement barrier that separated them from me and you…as I sat there on my heels in the crisp January air with the winter sun shining brightly on me and the angels that were zip-tied to the railing, looking down at your sidewalk with haloes and wings and painted wooden saddened faces with their backs to the concrete spillway and their wings pointed to a sometimey-heaven in my cloudless sky with their wind-blown burgundy and antiqued gowns and then…down the walk from your place is an old bag from the burger shop and a blue-labeled beer can and several discarded butts from smoking drivers in their passing and waiting for their interminable lights to change and allow them on their ways as you sit there or hover in your wondering wandering and visiting of things passed to you and past…across the street is a bus-stop sign advertising a gun-show on some future or passed date and you don’t and won’t care as I sat there amidst the cars’ breezes and tire-hum and noted the red and silver candy-cane garland and red velvet Christmas ribbons with shiny silver-glittered snowflakes and flowers…five ribbons and snowflakes and two white ceramic sad, baby angel votive candle holders with burned-out nubs and wicks melted into their opaque waste and remnant paraffin that collected dust and grains of sand and brake-dust and tire-flashing and memories of speeding thoughts of the passersby in their passing-by…the cement barrier is sending its earnest cold through my sweatshirt and shirt and into my skin as the passing-car-rumble echos into my body and I heard again the dispatcher telling me that it looks like four are gone with two ejected and two crushed and one transported by Fire, who later died, and the other driver is ok I think  and the kids are all 15 to 21 years-old and so, or maybe I disremember it that way, and your blood is gone in the years and wind and no longer warm or cold as the burger bag stirs in the other vehicles’ passing and passing and the sun is still shining on my January day as the dry-cleaning hangs in the back seat of my truck with its plastic bag reflecting the sun at me from across the street and the blue ink from my pen won’t write on the yellow crayon that my little one spent on this notepad as I’m trying to record my thoughts of your sidewalk and bridge railing and the cello music in my brain soothes my brain as I write your names on these waxen lines…and I thought you were five boys and young men and understand and know or perceive today that you were and are Eddie and Jazmin and Chris and Brenna and Esmeralda because they wished you all a Merry Xmas by name and said that you or we or I should Believe, as their signs and poster said, the poster covered with bright and spirited Christmas wrapping paper and blue lights…like a present…again, zip-tied to the railing…and there is a single plastic and silk rose with red and white petals that is attached to its own red ribbon-bow from one living person to one gone…and Christmas is passed and another year has begun in moments like the moments of your passing…another tick and tock in the life of the clock and sand that softly whispers in the glass, dropping and falling into a pile or stack of sandy moments and gone…as the poinsettia plant is crisp and watered and beautiful in its roadside red-foil wrapping and so….and I do wonder in my father-mind at the emptiness and sadness around your families’ Christmas trees and dinner tables this year and past, and wonder how their wounds have healed from having their hearts so crushed those days and years ago and I hope that they are okay, but don’t know how they could be, as I thought of you today, whoever you used to be and are….

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6 responses

  1. If only their families had any idea that you were writing about them. They would be honored…

    January 6, 2010 at 10:30 am

    • seekraz

      Thank you, Jason.

      January 6, 2010 at 10:58 am

  2. Nathan

    That was beautifully moving…….

    Where might this be, and who are the boy’s you’re writing about?

    January 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    • seekraz

      It’s at 51st Avenue and Cactus…and I don’t know who they are. There was a fatality accident x5 and I thought I remembered them being all males, but the sign had male and female names on it…maybe the names are from the people who left the sign, I’m not sure…but five people died there that Sunday morning and I think about them almost every time I go through the intersection or ride my bike on the path there. I was the Radio supervisor that day and followed it as it unfolded and we learned the details. It’s still very real.

      January 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm

  3. Nathan

    Wow, that’s really horrible…..well like Jason said, if their family knew you wrote about them I’m sure they’d be touched 🙂

    January 7, 2010 at 9:50 am

    • seekraz

      Yes, it was and is horrible…and thank you, again.

      January 7, 2010 at 10:25 am

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