Papa Shot Himself

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
The thing I sometimes feel put into light. Wordsworth said that poetry is “the spontaneous overflow of feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” There's been a lot of death around me recently, and I thought that I should take the opposite approach and reach tranquility by illuminating paint. It probably does not work.

Submitted: December 15, 2018

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Submitted: December 15, 2018



And I run,

And look back seldom,

And strive ahead,

And doubt,

And kill,

And see no meaning,

And run again,

And fly high,

And crash,

And over again.

The line can end, and I will write another

Fearing to face my self.


The phone rang and rang on a Sunday morning and I didn't bother picking it up. The bearer of news had to wait until I woke up, but he figured it was important, so the phone rang every five minutes. I picked up after twenty and I was not surprised in the slightest to hear Papa had died. Why would I be when he hadn't called in months. This was, in his mind important enough to call. Where I come from death is more important than life, and the one who shows resilience in the face of it commands respect. Both the voice and I were expecting it and no emotions except curiosity and unwavering attention to my would-be reaction were to be registered. I sighed deeply after I hung up and stared at the wall. 

Papa had died, but nothing changed.

The funeral procession, the grievances among women, some caring, other pretending to care so that they wouldn't seem insensitive or bad mannered and the melancholy tone resonating boredom was the only thing I experienced (a common experience where I come from), but this time it had something to do with me. I didn't understand why everyone made a huge fuss about it, and several times I found myself comforting women I had just met for the first time. "Oh son, my poor son", they weeped throwing their heads into my bosom and pushing my head into theirs (several of them double D's), "it is what it is; you can't do anything about it; you have to stay strong", all the while crying and petting me on the back of my head. Back in the day, when they gave me money or had thrown praise at how well mannered and behaved I was, they also made sure my mother was there to see it. 

Papa had died, but nothing changed.

My brother flew in across the pond we did a good job erasing some years since we had last seen each other. We cracked a few jokes before he started convincing me, that he, in fact, knew this death was going to happen, as he had heard him breathe heavily on the phone. His wife, he said, had also agreed, but was not able to come to the funeral. She had sent her thoughts and prayers, he said. It's the thing she usually does over Facebook, and which she did do after several days had passed and she got the info from my brother things were okay.

Many things similar to things that I had just described, took place in between his death and the writing of this. Last night, being pulled out of the bed, by what I described to my girlfriend as a whirling circle that was coming to get me from the inside out I wrote a poem-story, a shorem which didn't make sense. The first part I wrote above, and the second part, the shortest of dialogues read like this:

- Papa! Why did you blow your head off? Weren't you supposed to die high up above Kilimanjaro?

- I couldn't get there,  and I was chained until I couldn't run and they couldn't see it and they shocked me.

- Papa, your stories!

- They tell of how I got to the end.

- Oh, papa! I understand now! I understand why you told them!

- Good. They were not told in vain. The realizations still keep you going, you are young! Keep it that way.

- I'm starting to realize scary things, Papa. And no one is there to convince me otherwise.

- Papa?

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