As a child, I watched you
You came into my house all pixelated and manic
Wove your crazy antics
And disappeared on the half hour with everything neatly tied up,
Just in time for the news.
You were someone I knew would always be there
At the end of a day of scholastic torment.
You always made me smile.
I felt as though I knew you.
And in later years -
The years when every slight is an unforgiveable insult
And every injury a grievous wound -
I struggled with my own shadows,
And even though I knew you fought with demons of your own,
You were always there.
I could lock myself away
And watch you take a smoky stage,
Rapid fire words
That would always make me laugh
When the world outside was doing its best to make me despair.
I watched you put on your masks and walk the world as someone else.
Spoke the words along with you;
Learned the poems;
Read the history;
Fell in love;
Believed in the healing power of laughter.
I knew it could be done...
... you’d done it for me for years.
Every heart that ever broke in me was healed in part by you.
I never for a minute thought you wouldn’t be there.
You could have walked up to any one of ten million people
And said “I’m not ok, and I need help”
And we would have let you in.
We’ve been inviting you into our lives for years.
You chose a lonelier path and I wonder if you ever knew
How mighty you really were?
This grief has robbed me of the elegance of my words
And I stumble through this, struggling to find a way to say:
Adrian Cronauer, Genie, Jack, Patch, Mork, Rainbow Randolph, Fender Pinwheeler, Parry, Dr Sayer, Peter Pan, Mrs Doubtfire, Alan Parrish, Dr Maguire, and John Keating - Oh Captain, My Captain -
Nobody else could have brought you to life.
You held a closer place in my heart than I ever suspected
And there is a hollow place at my core where the laughter came from.
Who you were in the masks, and who you were behind them,
And who you were when all the masks were off, when you thought you were alone...
You were loved.
The mighty have fallen,
And we are poorer for it.
© mjc 13 August 2014
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