Monday, March 21, 2005

Note to Aaron

How are you doing, wherever you ended up?

You know, you were one of the funniest people I've ever known. You could make just about anyone laugh at any time. There were times, like at a critical point in a pretty serious meeting, when you'd crack a joke and everyone would be rolling. I knew I should be irritated and get the meeting back in order promptly, but I was always laughing too much to say anything. You know the pictures you drew and left at your schools? Amazing stuff.

I enjoyed the times we had together, Aaron. I think you'd be happy to know that, at your wake, they put your Sharks cap in the corner of your casket. As I listened to the sutras chanted through the incense, I wondered if you would rather have jokes, or if maybe not. It was St. Patrick's day, and some of us had a pint and some Pogues for you.

We all cried at your funeral, and had a laugh as we shared stories of our lives with you, and some of us went to the crematorium to carry your bones back. Until your friend from America arrives to carry you home, we have you enshrined on the center table in the office. We keep pictures of you with your friends, flowers, and food and drink there for you. Each day the staff burns incense, greets you, and prays for your passage.

The Body of An American

The Cadillac stood by the house
And the yanks they were within
And the tinker boys they hissed advice
"Hot-wire her with a pin"
And we turned and shook as we had a look
In the room where the dead man lay
So big Jim Dwyer made his last trip
To the shores where his fathers laid

And fifteen minutes later
We had our first taste of whiskey
There was uncles giving lectures
On ancient Irish history
The men all started telling jokes
And the women they got frisky
By five o'clock in the evening
Every bastard there was pisskey

Fare thee well gone away
There's nothing left to say
Farewell to New York City boys
To Boston and PA
He took them out
With a well-aimed clout
And they often heard him say
I'm a free born man of the USA

He fought the champ in Pittsburg
And he slashed him to the ground
He took on Tiny Tartanella
And it only went one round
He never had no time for reds
For drink or dice or whores
And he never threw a fight
Unless the fight was right
So they sent him to the war

Fare thee well gone away
There's nothing left to say
With a slainte Joe and Erin go
My love's in Amerikay
The calling of the rosary
Spanish wine from far away
I'm a free born man of the USA

This morning on the harbour
When I said goodbye to you
I remember how I swore
That I'd come back to you one day
And as the sunset came to meet
The evening on a hill
I told you I'd always love you
I always did and I always will

Fare thee well gone away
There's nothing left to say
'cept to say adieu
To your eyes as blue
As the water in the bay
To big Jim Dwyer
The man of wire
Who was often heard to say
I'm a free born man of the USA

- The Pogues

Farewell, Aaron. Godspeed.

No comments: