Alan Jankowski: ‘We Shall Never Forget’

I could not believe it when I saw the three letters R.I.P. on his Facebook timeline. I thought it was someone’s clumsy joke, a part of a jest talk, of which he was so fond of. I scrolled down his timeline and saw the intrusive letters again and again, and then more words began to clear up through the hum in my head: “Stunned by the loss…”, “I’ll never forget…”, “Good bye, dear friend…”

We were not even friends. We never met or had business together. He was just a Facebook connection, but he was the one in a thousand, you know, the one for whose posts you check up your Facebook three times a day…

I guess he was one of those wierd guys – a poet, a writer, a heretic, a dirty martini fan, a guy who could see the world from a different angle. A man with a great sense of humor and a big, kind, loving, and constantly bleeding heart.

I wish I had known him better.

Today, what is left for us is this short Facebook Intro –

  • Works at Professional bum

  • Studied at The University of Hard Knocks

  • Went to John F. Kennedy Memorial High School

  • Lives in Parlin, New Jersey

  • From Colonia, New Jersey

  • Followed by 894 people

and a bunch of his poems, like this:

Neon Sign

I guess I really can’t blame them.
How could they be expected to know the truth,
When all they see is some well-rehearsed smile,
That I have been putting on in the morning,
Like a clean shirt.
I think I have it down to a science,
I’ve been doing it for so long.
I’ve polished my act to where I almost fool myself sometimes,
Yet at times the sadness slips through to the world.
My mother asked me the other day if I was doing drugs again,
As if that ever really worked,
Things should really be that easy for just once,
I think to myself, ‘How could they not know?’
And yet at times I think maybe I should just tell them.
But, how do you express the hurt that goes deep inside?
How do you express how you really feel?
When you don’t know how you really feel yourself.
Sometimes I just feel so numb to the world,
Or maybe, it’s just the fear of the unknown,
As if it could really get any worse.
Maybe I’m just afraid of giving up my hurt,
When at times it seems that hurting is all I’ve got.
Perhaps the only thing I do well.
Yet at times I’d really like to tell someone,
But how could I make them understand?
Sometimes I think I should just hold up a big neon sign,
That says ‘Hurting’ in big, bright letters.
All electric blue with just a tinge of blood red,
And then maybe someone will notice,
And then maybe someone will care,
But then again, why should they?
Why should they care?
After all, it’s not their job,
They don’t get paid to care.
But wait…I know what I’ll do.
As the storms begin to build inside my head,
Like a thief robbing me of any peace I might have had,
And as the thunder starts to clamor in my mind,
It’s very dissonance drowning my every thought,
I’ll walk boldly into those very storms,
With my neon sign held high above my head,
And as the thunder bursts around me,
And the pouring rain soaks me to the skin,
And when the lightning bolts brighten up the sky,
I will no longer fear a thing,
For as the lightning strikes my neon sign,
And the electric shocks surge through my rain soaked body,
And the pain overtakes me from head to toe,
It will be the first time I’ve really felt anything in years,
Perhaps for the first time ever.
And as the last bit of life drains from my wet body,
I will be free at last.
And as my soul leaves my lifeless form,
To venture forth into the unknown,
And the unknown will welcome me with open arms,
Taking me in like a true friend,
And the unknown will provide me with shelter and comfort,
Perhaps for the first time ever.
And as the rains continue to pour down upon me,
All the hurt shall be washed away
And all the pain shall be felt no more,
For all my struggles shall cease in an instant,
And every unrequited love shall remain so,
And every broken promise shall remain broken,
And all the hatred directed towards me shall miss its mark,
And every resentment harbored shall be set aside,
And every tear shall be forced to find a new home,
And as I look down upon my dead body,
I can watch all my so-called friends gather round,
They’ll probably rummage through my pockets,
And fight over who gets my new sneakers,
Then again, why should they care?
After all, it’s not their job.

12-13-10.

 

 

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