Friendship Dead

Friendship Dead

Brian lay waxy pale colourless





the room was full

live people

bright flowers

hushed conversations

occasional giggles

forced smiles

limp handshakes

uncertain head shakes

the same remarks

so sudden

who knew


his family

all present

the family of Brian


whom many of us knew

for fifteen twenty years

a family

none of knew about

we had clues about a brother

a twin sister

but nieces nephews

an asian sister-in-law

more sisters

all strangers to us

his friends

strangers to them

it turns out


questions asked

how did you know

what was your last memory of

haven’t we met

oh I didn’t know

you were his brother

you are as closed lipped

about family as he was


it wasn’t as if

he was the closest friend of many

but known by more

than he might have realized


passed though

for one last look

one look to be sure

that what was said was true





snatched away from us


but he had been so hidden from us

all these years

all these lunches


pains trials tears tribulations

and yet

this bedrock of family

was barely mentioned

the bitter father

the distant mother

we’d heard about

but not the others



then I look at my own


how little I talk about them to others

as if the family were a secret

but it isn’t

there just isn’t a secret to talk about

no odd uncles

no cruel mothers or missing fathers

an intact unit

an intact functional family

of care compassion and love

seems the families I hear the most about

are the ones where the damage continues

where it never seems to heal

where the scabs of the past remain fresh

scars become badges

of entitlement

My dad did this so I am this way

yak yak yak


so perhaps Brian had good secrets

in that family closet

that we are now get to see

for a moment

that death

is now allows them to share with one another

perhaps the unrest

is put aside for

numbed by the shock


we stand in small groups

occasional glances to the open coffin

some stop to touch the cold hands

some to kneel and pray

others remain distance

glance over a shoulder

in conversations

look at the photos of Brian

photos of different times


high school

last week

alive and now not


Still reaching back to 1999. Pieces I haven’t look at again until now though I can remember writing them, sort of, in general but actual contents has been forgotten. Friendship is based on reality. Even the name ha snot been changed but unless you know this specific Brian he’s a cypher.

I’d met him in recovery, a good & regular member of my Saturday Morning AA group. We’d talked often, gone for breakfast after the meeting many times over the years I knew him. His death was a shocked to all of us as he was well liked & healthy. We never did hear the cause.

Our friendship had changed over the years & the breakfast fellowship had ended a year for so before his death. My sexuality presented no issue until one breakfast, after they remarked on cute waitress, I said the bus boy was hot – things changed when my sexuality was no longer a theory.29drawers02

The viewing was as described – this meeting of his family – this odd sense of learning something so new about a man many of us had known well for years. But this is one of the facts of AA life, we share what is pertinent at meetings, not every detail. Thought it can be a challenge to keep a private life.

Another fact of recovery is that we often see the same face at meetings for decades but never know anything more about them than their name & what they choose to share at the table. 29drawers03The piece looks at how we share ourselves with others. No one getting the whole picture. How we create boundaries of what we trust people with & when we close up for self-protection. I’m out at all times but I don’t constantly tell people when I meet them ‘oh hi i’m a queer.’ If they can’t tell or assume otherwise it isn’t my issue unless it’s relevant to the conversation.29drawers04As I said his death came as a shock – he was physically well – her one day then gone. I was saddened but not heart-broken – he was a friend but nothing more. Oddly it is the death of strangers than can affect me more – the Pulse shootings were heart breaking – perhaps because the target was more than people but an population that even though I’m not p.o.c I am a part of & feel I have no way to defend or protect.



cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

blue diamond

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