For three days I've carried all my stuff down from the attic
and cut it up into two piles:
the things that hurt I threw into the bathtub and burned.
the things that made me smile I cleaned them up,
and set them up in rows around my bed
so I could see them all together,
and then address each one in turn.
The first thing I held was my mom's dissertation
she had it bound into a book for me when I was only 14.
She fought 8 years as a single mom with 4 kids for that PhD.
I never read a page of it
but I remember her crying alone at her desk
when she thought me and my sisters were asleep-
she tried so hard to keep us far away from any weakness.
Then I picked up Chris' diploma from Brown University
and I remember how he asked me not to attend the ceremony
but I hid in the back when he walked up to get it
and my heart screamed his name when they said it
I found the plaque Sarah made when I first got promoted
she'd somehow found out about it before I did
and had it mounted on the office door before I even got in...
A hologram of our first family vacation
with the rain and the mosquitos and the flu
and Sarah and I juggling two screaming kids
I don't know how we smiled for the whole thing but we did.
I smelled Zooey's baby clothes,
my first program code,
the leotards I wore when I was just four years old,
the first cartoon I drew,
Chris' first pair of shoes...
The last thing I held
was a picture with no date
I had so much hair though that I must've been 27 or 28
I must've been warming up for a show,
or maybe just getting off stage
I'm sitting on a leather couch
I'm in the back room of some club
I had my old rap hat on and there's this beautiful girl leaning down above me
and I'm showing her my soaked shirt and I'm smiling...
and it's love.
The hopeful look on that face makes me wince
I haven't seen that look, haven't seen that face since.
I take it into the bathroom - light it up and throw it in
I empty out the medicine cabinet into my shaky hands
my fingers look so new for second I wonder who I am
I quickly stow them away, back in my pants
My boss says he'll live to be 140 --- ex-boss
he's all into enhancers, and attachments, and stuff
and when I asked him why he wanted to be around that long, he got all up in a huff
Some people feel like the world wants them around, and that's fine
I decided 10 years ago that I don't want all that time...
For me 76 is enough.
For me 76 was too much.