A Song For the Dead

The bodies are starting to pile up. Immaculately dressed, if not in reality then in our own perceptions. We like to think of them not in costume, but on another plane, living a life above and beyond our own. Lives spent in dark rooms, friendly, hushed conversations, if not for the bursts of laughter. Someone’s slapping their knee. It’s probably Jagger. There looks to be a lot of life in him yet. But the others are fading away, leaving the party without so much as a goodbye. A few of them took a bow, like Leonard, who was always the gentleman. Too polite to just skip out. David left a few clues, trickster. But I swear I didn’t believe him. But some of the others, Tom, Chris and the shorter one with the purple clothes — they just disappeared.

I don’t think they’re coming back, either.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. This party’s been going on for a long time. It’s not that the party’s ending — I mean, there are a lot of new kids showing up — but the folks who were here when it started… I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they’re hittin’ the exit. A lot of them arrived all at once. That makes it all the more confusing, because I guess a lot more of them might be leaving sooner than later. Then again, Tony’s been on the dance floor for what? 70 years? I suppose that gives some hope for the rest of the lot. All hail King Bennett. I guess he took the crown from Chuck. Richard will probably fuss about it though.

I’ll tell ya what really hurt, and that’s when Charles took off last month. He wasn’t in a good place, man. He hadn’t felt well in a while. And it all happening right after Sharon went through the same thing! Grant and Gord, too. Damn. I mean, I guess people have been coming and going all the time, since the beginning, but it feel like a lot more all at once now. The ones that we put so high on the pedestal, they pull us through the hard times and dance right along with us in the best times. They’re the ones turning into ghosts now. Ghosting right out the door.

During Halloween, I see a lot of them walking around, possessed and shit. Like they got other people inside them. But then I see the lightning bolt on their face and it’s like, “Hey man, there’s Dave!” And then Michael shows up in his red jacket and glove and starts doing that werewolf dance, and everybody joins in, and it’s a great time, just like old times. Seems like that’s the only time we see Michael anymore. He sure did love Halloween. You know he had a song called “Ghosts”? Yeah. And “Scream” and “Blood On the Dancefloor” and one called “Torture” back when he was hanging around with his brothers. I love Halloween, too. It’s my favorite of the holidays. One time I dressed up as Ed, called myself Deady Vedder. Luckily, he’s still alive. Reminds us just about every night. Just yells it out, over and over. We get it man. But I yell it along with him when I’m around. I don’t need the reminder. Just feels good. A toast to affirmations!

Anyway, I don’t know about a lot of these new kids. They seem cool, but I can’t tell if they’re going to hold up the same way as the others. Annie seems like she’s going to stick around. That Berninger guy has been getting pretty comfortable. Roddy’s been waving the flag pretty hard. Maybe grab the Martin kid and ask him to settle down though. He’s been getting emotional over in the corner. We let him in because he was all cool at the beginning but now keeps going on and on about teardrops and waterfalls. Pull it together or get out. It’s not working with the mood in here.

Maybe I need to pull it together, too. People come, people go, and parties weren’t meant to last. That’s what the Nelson guy kept saying, anyway. There’s just been so many these last couple years and I just don’t ever feel ready when they do. Maybe I’ll see a few more of them this week. Maybe we’ll see Lou. Man, he was the coolest.