All my friends are dead.
I feel sick,
Not sick to the stomach,
Sick in the head.
Sick like nobody can see.
Sick like I can't be set free.
Sick until I hear something else outside the voices of reality.
Not all my friends have been shot, but all have bled.
All my friends have been seen, heard, or read.
All were famous, and they're all dead.
All my true friends are inside my head.
I knew that I couldn’t share with the others our conversations I had with my true friends. we talked too deeply about things that didn’t need to be discussed. We talked about things that weren’t listened to the first time they were said, so why would they be now.
It didn’t help all my friends are dead writers, rock stars, and a comedian or two. The politicians may not be alive but they're long from dead as they're discussed everyday, and they weren't welcome in this room.
While I would prefer to just sit and hear Mitch spit endless one-liners I can’t. I have to move onward. I sit to write. Slowly listening to the passing riffs of Prince, Richard, and Marley, talking about Vedder and Cornell. They all pitch in with the country Outlaws, sided with Jim, Jim, and Jimi. Discussing their favorite artist, it was a unanimous consensus. They all agree their favorite, Ray. Riffs of Ray's trumpet tower our memories of music. He was the best they had heard in their day. Yet, they all agreed Wolfgang was the best they imagined to set foot on this earth even if they didn’t like his music any more than a bad pop hit they despised. While everybody agreed on the artists, they don’t all agree on their messages. Tupac's philosophy of the twenty-first century started a brawling linguistic battle between the ones who grew up closer to his time and the ones set further back. It didn’t matter the main point. They all received and agreed with the post against racism, degrading women, and didn’t disagree with how fucked up and sideways he got weekends.
Yet, somehow all the musicians that did the same were just drawn out over his decision on words. The ones who had been there had agreed nobody to this futuristic date had deserved to be compared or had yet taken the nose hung crown of the negro king himself. Finally when Tupac poured a round of the drink bound to “get everybody's dick hard and pussy wet” they finally stopped bickering and raised a glass. The toast we tipped to was “Anybody who didn’t agree on that, or didn’t understand their dedication to Ray Charles just didn’t understand music.”, said Bean Bryant in his best impression, and we drank.
As we continued to blabber on about bullshit and throw chords and notes at each other like the baseball players they all knew from their childhoods. Suddenly a storm entered the room. They were finally shut up. All of them. For as we had thought, those who wore bullets and needles as their final resting jacket were far from the sanest in the room. We were proven wrong. The ones wearing the lead covered shiny red teeth were taken as the furthest off the wall. That’s because they entered quickly with a hustle and the definition of eccentric manliness.
As Hunter blasted in, he was sticking a .44 magnum down the throat of Hemingway. Hemingway pushed his double barrel up against the chin of Thompson to protect himself. These two laughed at the lead shining off each other's teeth and back of their heads like bad futuristic Yakamas on their bald spots. Each found a hand for a mostly empty bottle of Kentucky bourbon. As their horrendous chuckles of heavy drinking continued, they were brought back into my version of reality. The one who managed to make it past his suicidal attempts, but not without the same bottle of bourbon. He grabbed Thompson's bottle as he stood upon a chair and spat lines at the lost souls. Bukowski recited poetry to hush his audience.
As we all sat there in awe laid back in our reality, we began to look at one another and come to a realization. We were scattered in time and cultures that we had come from but all knew the piece that was missing from their fame riddled lives that had passed. They were what made most of them famous. They were the cause of almost every problem in these fool’s lives. Some were the cause of their death. The words that most of them were known for were carved by one. Everybody in the room had had more than one. Everybody was still hung up on one. When It was finally said we all laughed. I guess another thing all my friends and I can agree on, we need more of a certain women in our lives. We did need more of some others. While the women changes in every form, our desire didn’t.
Coming to that realization was outside of the normal lines. My inability to call famous influences of past women was a call out. A call out to our culture for not recognizing as many in the past as they should have, but also a call out for the men who had plethora's to pick from and couldn’t come up on a goddamn single one. The boys raised another and toasted to the women who weren't there.