I was listening to songs of my youth last night, many were rather sad. I like sad songs. Drinking was not part of the evening’s entertainment because my liver is shot. I can’t have more than a couple of beers without feeling ill. That’s probably a good thing.
Sitting down to the computer this morning, I found YouTube still open in a browser tab, so I played a few more. Mistake. Often, I finish these musical bouts of self-pity and nostalgia with Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Not a huge Judy Garland fan, I just like that song and ,no, I’m not gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Instead, this morning, my match with melancholy ends with Puff the Magic Dragon. For many, it’s a bittersweet tale of the lost innocence of childhood. It has always been that for me. Afterwards, I took a shower before starting work for the day. I’m in the shower about five minutes (I take long, hot showers), singing Puff,
A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.
His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
and when I get to the next line,
Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave,
I start crying like a baby. I was completely overwhelmed with grief. It’s been seven years since my brother’s death. My little brother. Most people who knew the six foot Chief of Police had a different image of him, no doubt. But, to me, he was always and will always be my little brother. And when he really needed me most, I wasn’t there for him. People have said many kind things, the usual things people say. You can’t blame yourself, no one could have known. I knew. And I can never forgive myself. I will never stop missing Patrick, my little brother. And I will never sing that damn song again.
October 31, 1962 – January, 23 2006