He is left with a shelf displaying old records and CDs.
A copy of Playboy magazine, and signs of his disease.
An old receiver where he pretends to lose himself in sound.
It fades in and out, just like the memories in
outdated diaries scattered on the ground.
He still has the energy to put in a DVD,
pretends this is his theater chain,
and that he’s lived out all his fantasies.
But no one else ever attends the show,
and his talent at self-deception is starting to go.
He gets the mail, looking for a letter from a long-lost friend.
Nothing comes for him, but tomorrow he’ll get the mail again.
He carries a cordless phone and sometimes pretends that he’s talking.
Hoping the neighbors won’t notice the loneliness in his step,
and the sadness delivered to him daily in the mail he never gets.
He crawls inside his Dolby shell and turns the subwoofer on.
The deep thud is still there, but all the hope is gone.
He pretends to be amused, but it’s just depressing.
With faded images of a crowded room,
he wonders who he was once impressing.
This poem was written for, and is dedicated to, Paul -- a long-lost friend of mine who killed himself last week. Paul was the first person I knew who had a surround-sound system in his apartment, and the very first person I knew that owned a subwoofer. From what I've gathered, Paul became introverted to the point where he wouldn't/couldn't even talk with his parents. Although I haven't seen him for nearly five years, I miss him deeply. I hope anyone feeling down who is reading this will remember that before ending your own life, you should give your friends one more try. Everyone should be given a second chance, and a true friend knows this. I would have gladly accepted a call from Paul. Now he's gone and that phone is never going to ring. Thanks for the memories, my friend. Thanks for the sounds. -- Alex
This poem is copyright 2003 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].
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