the class wasn’t out the day wasn’t over the deed wasn’t done but… I’m here. I’m with you. I made an excuse. The pain was just too much. My ankle sore, head pounding. Yeah. I’m leaving class. Throwing papers into binders tying shoelaces opening the door and hey…there you are. With me.
At first we’re alone. Half the school is off in the field, screaming their heads off at one team or another. And we’re just standing in the gravel. Hands in our pockets, wind blowing our hair in our faces. You’re gray and I’m black. I’ve got one ankle cocked, pained so much. I decided to take a walk, it hurt so much. I decided to leave class, it hurt so much. I decided to come out here.
We board the merry go round. Spinning it slowly with our feet, at first. Stepping into the center. Resting against each other. Back against back. Eyes closed. Hair whipping in our faces. We breathe in the twisted sky. Rotating round and round my head and I…
You helped them set up microphones. Unwrapping, plugging in, bringing up to a stand we shared. We want this mic, the broken, lucky one. We stood there and argued. I want this song. Our favorite song. Why can’t we share? Why can’t there be two microphones here? One mic, five songs, two vocalists… Who can’t get along.
You sing one favorite. We both jump. I sing the other. You clap. We joke quietly on stage. Grin through the notes. Laugh when I’m singing it wrong. Tickling you when you can’t sing quite high enough. We tangle ourselves in the microphone wires and pretend no one can see. And someone prays. We hush the rising passion in our voices.
We stumble down to our seats. First two in front, on the far right side. We stare up at the ceiling, there’s a face etched in. We’ve given him a name we’ve laughed about it talked and asked him questions when he’s not there. Deep into the ceiling. Fading against the lights. The fan that washes away his smile and two nailed eyes. Dear George.
Before the message is there, we’re still laughing. Talking. So quietly in the passive room. What am I laughing about? You brush away the hair in my face, and say, “Your laugh makes me laugh.” That soft voice just for me on Fridays where we sing and… I have to admit we didn’t argue so much this time. We didn’t sing so quietly today. We jumped so high and clapped so hard and now we’re laughing like… it’s too good to be true.
The merry go round slowly stops. You hop off and grin at me. Let’s spin it as fast as we can. One side to another, we’re spinning. Back and back and back and again. Faster and faster. And now, the task of getting on. You’ve succeeded, before me. I can grab the bars, or slow it down. I can reach a foot, I can--- stumble and hit my head on the metal and fall back into the gravel.
I can hear the former friend’s shout in the background as I fall to the ground. My head is spinning now. I simply lay there, eyes closed, spinning around. Soon your footsteps are hear and I open my eyes to see you standing over me. You ask if I’m okay. Am I okay? I don’t know anything anymore. He was watching as I fell. All I can say is, “The sky is all cloudy.” You laugh, and reach a hand down. Help me up.
Hands on my elbow, my shoulder. Am I okay? I’ll be okay. I’m staring straight ahead at the former friend and his staring straight ahead at me. He says, “Are you okay? You hit your head?” I shake my head at him and look away.
You and I walk away. Towards the field of screaming. We’re going to be okay. The trio is standing there, by the fence. The day is still going, no one is allowed to leave, but…we’re here. You’re angry at the fence, for some reason. Reaching back a foot to kick it. And kicking me instead.
You’re sorry you’re sorry you’re sorry! And now it falls upon me to take action. Let you know just how much I’m hurt by the afternoon of what hasn’t been done. Chasing after you…past the field…past the benches where we raised our voices in harmony…we stumble down and I’m tickling you into oblivion.
And now you’re gone. Oblivion. Took you away. I can see the clouds in your eyes as you walk past and the longing and the regret as…it wasn’t over you understand now. I long for the merry go round and tickling and I long for my best friend. You…long for a hello? You stop in the gravel on a cloudy day and stop me. Stop me. You can’t stop. You can try and say hello after you’ve thrown me into the cold. But all I do is smile and turn away. Turn you away once more after all…
Class is out the day is over the deed is done. And I’m here. I’m here without you. I don’t need an excuse.