Thursday, August 3, 2017

maybe Bryan wakes up

“Not good news…” says Satch
Bryan may have had his last seizure
collapsed in the shower this morning
he’s in ICU
no brain activity
his family has been advised and is advising
the plug may be pulled tomorrow

Bryan, of course
brought me into the fold
and set into motion for me
the change upon which all others rest in high school

There was Satch, the skateboarding irritant of the suburb elite,who would be my hetero-lifemate into adulthood
There was Jason, the contrarian, who would be my begrudged mentor in the ways of punk rock,with whom Bryan had been elementary school best friends
There was the other John, the papist Civil War re-enactor and all-around caster of doubts and mirth
And then Stefanie, hot pedestrian and great friend, whom both Bryan and I brought in

There were other allies and confederates
But those were the players no other circle would claim
Also the ones that can all agree
Though we all became great friends with one another in our respective rights
We would likely not know each other
But not for that guy who
   took me along with him that one day with no embarrassment

And Bryan’s family
took us in each weekend
(his undeniably attractive step-sisters making the worthwhile of it every other weekend)
Bryan walked the railroad out of old central with me every Friday afternoon
Where we took the grandeur of a defunct Flour Mill for granted
like we took most things

And Bryan sold me my first guitar
was the first to suggest to me that I should practice the arpeggio figure of Hotel California one measure at a time
even though he didn’t know to call it that
(still working on it, friend)
And Bryan got me my first job
with him
cleaning the goddamned middle school everyday

And Bryan convinced me that AMT model cars were an education in the waiting
I taught Bryan not to be careless with his verbal challenges in front of me
I had no compunction of smashing the finished '36 Ford Coupe he “didn’t care about” into his bedroom wall if only to impress Satch sitting idly by

I think
I saved his ass that time
our canoe broadsided into a rapid in the Illinois

And I had forgotten most of this until just now.


Satch texts
“Jason is not taking it well.”
And again
“I may see him in a bit.”

But I am at a loss here in Colorado
With our base and roots in Oklahoma 
While Bryan hangs on in Arizona

Do I call his ex-girlfriend in Michigan
Who was as much sister to me long after?
Am I the one to break that to her?
OR had she the thoughtfulness to keep with him all these years
And not take him for granted as I have?

But until I hear from Satch
Maybe Bryan wakes up

“He’s not coming back…Is that what I’m to understand?”
I ask Satch before we ended that first call

But until I get the second call
Maybe Bryan wakes up

He won’t
But from where I sit right now
The ravages of only 20 years post-high school
Still have yet to crack the shallow privileged veneer
-no net loss heretofore-
  that I’ve so far
of random mofo chance
been able to encase myself
But it is cracking
and even if it weren’t
 it will not last

But maybe Bryan wakes up
He won’t
But until the phone call comes, and it will
But until


  1. I drove his car home for him one night after partying. We talked too much in the back of Mr. Bays English class. He listened and agreed with me when I talked about how stupid my boyfriend was. We discussed music. We took Senior prom photos together because he took my best friend from another school. He was my friend. The winds of change blew across our lives and he went the way of Arizona and I of Canada. As with almost all of the people I knew in high school, we got busy living our grown up lives and lost touch. Such and nice, sweet, loyal man. A father who will be irreplaceably missed, and friend that will be longed for in the quiet of the days where reminiscence takes over. Good bye Bryan. You made a difference, you will be missed.

  2. He did and he will. Thanks for sharing that, Kristi.

  3. Sweet Bryan, he lived down the street from my grandparents, when we were little he would pull me around the street in a little red wagon even when it was his turn to be pulled he kept right on pulling me, he didn't care as long as I was having fun. Bryan was a sweet and gentle soul.