nederlandergirl (nederlandergirl) wrote in rentitarians,

rent fanfic

Title: Then Forever
Word Count: 249
Category: Drama, Tragedy, Poetry
Summary: A series of memories act as an elegy for Roger Davis. Lovingly inspired by Paul Monette. Written in poetry format.
Chapters: 8
 1. Days
days in the park
sun dappled gravel walk
and the homeless you saw children
I filmed reels and reels so
let that camera tell
it was true so true
know forever we walked
guitar slung with frail shoulders
back ground laughter
white noise yellow noise red noise
you play I sing I request on the bench
that happened you snorted
when I asked “anything you can’t play Rog?”
as if it mattered
well everything did at the time
I was twenty-nine
you eight
and we grabbed greedy at that mirage
like we knew it wouldn’t no couldn’t last forever
but it lasted now or then I guess
filming for life but you played for now
so arpeggios acoustic lazily drift out
as string plucked with eloquence
wasn’t that you Rog?
who carried away with leaves
to the sky
since you had no weight none at all
we’ll fly you’ll carry me
but I weighed you to the ground
oh that was me
but at the time
oh at that time it was just
guitar chords August forever it almost lasted
in a second it was gone like maple and Halloween candy
and swimming pools back in Scarsdale
where nothing was real not like home
in that gritty permanence that marked
your cell counts but couldn’t we grip on to
me giggling and the private school girl feeding birds
paper bag crumpling and Rog you smirking
as if all was perfect as perfect as that final August
don’t cry now for no mistake
we were perfect you know it had to have been
my Kodak book reminds me always
days in the park like screenshot beauty
love it blink and it fades away

2. Eat
you and I drinking coffee
garbage on the metal table and your paper crumpling
so I had milk you black with extra sugar
or you couldn’t live with your magic drink
and cigarettes 4.49 plus tax
in this state at least
you breath clouds rising
a dragon exhaling on the fire escape bars
thirty degrees in winter even you persisted in not quitting
Rog that was your excuse
what was mine for not forcing you? but so stubborn
and thinning too you wouldn’t eat
too nauseous too tired too everything but I tempted you with
anything French-fried chocolate coated barbecued salty shaken not stirred
still nothing and your cheekbones are frames hanging skin so pale
as if depressed sale rack clothing drooping from plastic hangers
under fluorescent ugliness
count my metaphors Rog, you might notice
that sorrow buried in the freezer aisle with microwave lasagna
will he try this? or not
I think experimental drugs the guilty one
or just your fatigue but he will not eat
though I tried my love
Breyers for dinner, would you like that?
with whiskey and maybe a little fat for your ribs
and no more coffee
like frustration how could I make you
so dreaming about you and food
like you used to eat so much the fridge was empty
just a vessel for whiteness and egg cartons
but hunger was a place and time receding from us with your body
so fading
and you in front of the mirror gaunt and complaining about your plunging weight
and me so cruelly if you would only eat
I tried blame I tried casserole
everything for nothing was the trade
and you across watching me eat feeling fat
like more of me and so much less of you who asked for this
empty microwave
clean stove where has Rog gone
and forgive me that moment I felt you would be so fine if only you could eat
like a hundred yesterdays ago
how did we miss that my friend
when you sat across from me
and anything happened for it could like Kraft Dinner going down
it used to
so miracles didn’t happen
on doctor’s orders the Ensure in a case from the grocery
you’d drink that always listen to the doctor never me
fuck if only you had listened to me we wouldn’t stand pharmaceutical waiting for
pill cases so stand up straight you but you wouldn’t
or couldn’t who am I to tell
but almost believed just couldn’t the way your eyes so grey and cold
like unscrubbed kitchen sinks you had to have been blue back in the day
now watery as you were going blind
but that seems another story
yet you were in pain and I couldn’t make you eat
at all not for all the money in the world
me at the clean table
dinner for one
you went to sleep long ago it’s seven forty-five
and somehow I feel full though
haven’t tasted since lunch at one
like loneliness at a restaurant my own apartment
with emptiness across from me so far
and suddenly I wouldn’t
or couldn’t
I just didn’t eat
not for you
or for me 

3. Song
paper sheafs neatly lined tossed everywhere so careless
you wrote cursive loops so small and skinny like those long fingers
and printing tiny how could you read it but you must have for
those songs stayed alive in your guitar
I remember you polishing that awful smell and it gleaming
like a car with fresh gasoline and an oil change shining powerful in noonday sunshine
on our window seat so important it filled your spot when you were away
so glorious an instrument but your songwriting not
painful and frustrating as withdrawal you sitting for hours head down
trying to fill up your brown black gold guitar case with impossible music
that grinds at twisted strings and runs away whispering in your ear and twirling ‘round the room
oh not easy nothing ever was for you Rog writing like a poet and a magician
can he conjure riffs like spells so spectacular? you did once or twice you were good
but not so good that it came easy like to the greats Grateful Dead and Billy Joel
(or so you claimed)
I believe you were good not that I would know
if you were here Rog, you’d know
you knew everything about guitar
and almost nothing for writing it was hard
sweating with frustration writer’s block you searched like a huge room with only one door
and a padlock can you find your way out to the sheet music behind the door
Rog you knew it was there
so close yet so far and you tried with effort unmatched to pull the clefs out of a hat
that didn’t go so well
those days of you the table and pencils broken lead on the floor
punching the wall and me not knowing what to do
music's not beautiful it isn't haunting like Sounds of Silence
it's painful frustrating bleeding fingers inky hands headaches torn strings canceled gigs
brittle drumstick tape and paper money so exchanged like dogeared lyrics
that was it
you knew the underside of vocal unheard melody
like thrush in those last few months on and off of the breathing tube
couldn't sing can't write not anymore and your throat white with oppurtunistic infection
music to you it didn't come easy
beauty is pain repeated 'till your cocoon splits open but it never did
not at twenty-nine your final song it ends with an echo
a silent bow
thank you New York City my love 
and goodnight

4. Friends 
in my mind it was always us but I am biased
towards the future we didn’t begin that way
you a room mate with more cash than me for half checks and bills
that piled up unwanted intruders on the dirty kitchen counter
next to Mr. Clean (unused)
and a box of corn flakes 2.30 off on sale at the grocery on 13th and B
so you moved in with cardboard taped boxes brown large rumpled from
eleven flights of stairs Collins helped carry I squinted down through glasses
from the top of the echoing stairwell
boots squeaking and you swearing you had a beard I was a little intimidated Rog
but you had money from gigs musician you told me
with a real rock band and only nineteen but you claimed almost twenty
yeah twenty next year you hardly legal but I digress
you played anxious us hearing the first time mistake on the second bridge
we didn’t notice how could I
so room mates first and sparring partners in the day
we haven’t argued in so long my friend but oh how we did
like in ’88 you had such a temper like explosives and dynamite so loud
with a deep voice and husky you yelled and me refusing to listen
I ignored so well you slammed things without leave we fought
like the Spaniards and the British only never agreeing on who won
it was war between us over dirty laundry bill paying smoking inside girlfriends swearing cleaning up you never did and nitpicking
eventually giving in both of us brings me to your third title friend
it didn’t happen in one day or one year but somehow creeping through our veins
it just happened we watched “rented” stolen videos your head on my shoulder and I with chips that we agreed on truce sour cream and
onion all dressed you didn’t mind
with Oreo cookies you licked sweet I crunch loudly together we couldn’t eat alone
wonderful melancholy crazy horrid amazing confusing necessary us friends
you vould never imagine two so different but not really we both hid like children
from thunder afraid of emotion but somehow got along between the suicide of your princess and snorting crack and lesbianism it came to
us not easily but naturally
unlike money which didn’t come at all not back in the day at least
I refused to work you refused to do anything at all not until your glory was born
where is my song screaming withdrawal fury and tears oh April
we’ll try again if you’ll return I patted your shoulder consoling it didn’t work
but we stayed together like room mates with chains
to this god forsaken loft papery messy frozen in winter baking in July heat
why didn’t we leave oh we couldn’t just had to slide open the rusty door for another
year of sadness together life sucks doesn’t it Rog?
now the loft and me we wait for redemption with our other half you
ghost music draped around the ceiling amid empty pipes and dreams of the
nineteen eighties
best friends where has the time gone flying away birds in winter I became older you grew up for real
come back and we’ll play rogue again my favourite rebel in grunge jeans and army surplus boots but you had something true about you
even a drug addict redeemed
you taught me about forever the thing is, it doesn’t last not even a little bit
it ended with a flash and I reached back into the past with a pale arm grabbing in the dark at whatever solace I could find in sun
bleached sheet music on the bench and the graveyard in beautiful June
best best best best friends couldn’t you stay for that
I thought it meant something like candles to you and your second chance at glory with Mimi chica
now fades the past just yesterday afternoon realizing I couldn’t remember your father’s name how could I?
you in sorrow you left me with clothes folded so artificial in your room and memories of gut laughter that clung to tightly to a decade not
long past but unreachable like you my love
I ape closure like acceptance so false and you hated that with rebel passion
I promise for sure if you come back home again knock softly on the concrete I’d open up for you and we can be room mates sparring partners best best best best friends just once more

5. Notes 
you used to leave me notes
sticky yellow or peel off white, grainy like pencil lead
or inky pen and your cursive, tall and skinny like you with broken joints
and my printing small and neat was your opposite with perfect spacing
taped messy on the door the counter or my pillow like a message in a bottle
tucked in the laundry crinkled and surprise out fell a piece of us
at Mimi’s be back at 12 Rog mine your turn for the dishes! srsly!
and whole days we sat apart with nothing but Post-Its between us
a whole world scrawled with short forms only I could understand
we are close aren’t we or were close at the very least
I saved them all Rog did you know in a box under my bed I wouldn’t lose them rereading over and over in weeks after your death
staining them salt watery and dog-eared but couldn’t let go of my fragments of you like letters from Santa Fe
cheaper than long-distance and more descriptive my poet companion you almost tasting sand and loneliness between your chicken
scratch lines but you would not give me an address so I couldn’t write back
oh never mind you came back to sticky notes mundane but so real like artifacts of you
now it couldn’t have been that long apart could it? only six months but anyways…
these words grow painful frustrating like medicine your list Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor and antiretroviral shopping list let’s play doctor and nurse you be my patient love
CD4 percentage charts but this mystery novel is spoiled for I already know now the twists and turns
when we thought your experimental juice was working but it didn’t
oh how did we fall for that? but perhaps it made us somewhat happy for three magical days ‘till more testing and needle sores on
your arms and the villain we found out you had progressed into AIDS so I kept a journal of your ailments and it filled right to the
brim and I saved that too and started again writing as you wasted away from forever
you wrote at the hospital on the tray with your left hand wrong hand as your right was developing KS it hurt too much but you kept
on making me songs with no tunes as the guitar was taken away
and promised not to read until Until which was the unspeakable and I snatched poems fragmented unlike your old work home
again filing sheafs and crumpled blue lined like sadness your work so different more elegy and no love songs
dedicated to lime orange cherry lemon jello and Hot Brunette Nurse No.2 who changed your bandages twice a week so you wrote
those days but why couldn’t you dedicated a song to me? and you said because they all are oh my friend let’s send notes again
flashlight under the covers addressed to Death and maybe you’ll reply if I burn them like cigarette smoke drifting from the jungle
gym fire escape towards you in the clouds
could you write me back maybe please and tell me what you told me again
explain folk rock versus country for the zillionth time and give my regards to the rest of your broken half-baked generation rotting in
HIV denial and carved stone like your last letter to me but I knew the name and date of birth and date of death already so why
couldn’t you have just told me goodbye
come let’s sit together by the grubby window again please talk just anything you want just you and me like best best best best
friends that I said before let me see you and we’ll have those days back bantering giddy with you Rog and no need for crinkled
scribbled in melancholy vanished

6. Blame 
blame like snowflakes rests in tiny pieces
almost unintelligible and indistinguishable melting on the shoulders of those who suffer for the personification of sadness

I could go on and on
notebooks filled to the brim stuffed margins and bleeding blue ink
whole days and nights of people places events to blame
smudging my thumb in charcoal dust leaving a dirty print on those that led to your
downfall Rog
like Bill Clinton oh those politicians and their tangled games fragile as a spider web
and just about as complex weaving through history religion and glory attained
then curled up in history books sun bleached and crinkled like sixth grade memories
press guilt-ridden fingers against the FDA for their sins
“redeem us” to the AIDS epidemic but nothing forgotten at least by those brave tear streaked soldiers of friends that stood by wishing
away regret
and counting cells
drug addict or victim you could never decide for the syringe once pressed heavy couldn’t take away its glassiness from your arm you still
felt it in your sleep you told me
so we push our blame on the heroin or the needle or the dealers or those far away lords in bright sunny countries that rest on laurels
sewn from graffiti blood and dopamine
and we in our infinite frustration as we count the days that slip by our fingertips
we look for another reason another character to wrench our grief from us and turn it into anger for I never minded anger
just burning aches in my stomach and fingers and you with fading hair and the awful sarcoma
I’d do anything jump off a bridge into the Hudson freezing and muddy just for some glorious peace mind
you sit concentrate on the TV noise tinny and cheerful breathing heavy into the oxygen cup and I think maybe I can fault your parents
for they must have some role in this once-act play perhaps it was your upbringing
and when that ran out of steam cold and dry
my emotions dark and leaking spilled onto god
I hate him you know hate hate hate
couldn’t scream it loudly enough or hurl objects against the wall it couldn’t make up for anything I felt inside
I hate god, I HATE Him fuck it just couldn’t contain me broken and stinging
he did this to you I know it like cellophane on the toilet seat a practical joke
thanks for the motherfucking punch line
but when all was said and done there had to be more to it for god didn’t seem to be listening
suppose he was busy condescending to the rest of your damned to hell generation
so blame it curled up inside of me dark and empty and painful like an ulcers
gnawing at the could-haves and would-haves of our years together
and why I hadn’t stopped you Rog
and this monster addictive blame hurled on you all my innards
you almost swallowing it with pills I yelled meaningless for how could I blame you my love? as easy as Satan I guess it possessed me
wanting just to end this awful melancholy this great and terrible sadness
wait look out the ward’s window Rog
past white plastic blinds and smells of illness
it is snowing out bitter white flakes
that bleed down the windows sprinkle the sidewalks then swept into the hot gutter melt
fading on the shoulders of New York City 

7. Kiss
I dream of this one thing this beautiful remorse
I’d clutch my sweaters dry ‘till you’d wear them clean Sundays after antigen testing
at the clinic streets off
my beautiful Rog fading by black moon windows
sighing at the city raindrop nights
guitar waiting patiently like a faithful dog, sagging and tired next to you
‘oh play me please’ for my owner is absent I’m afraid
strings untied untuned unkempt like sweaty hair on feverish evenings
that stretched through early numbers three o’clock, four five six
and it would please break in the morning let him rest
Roger is my lover he is my patient
he muddles me in regret and all that has ever happened
we hold wrists gazing bloodshot eyes so sullen
he likes music and sleeping late into those snowy noons
gazing out the window from bed November light seaping through paper blinds
tangling wispy fingers in my musty sleeping shirts of sweat and next mornings
he doesn’t like getting up
Rog you listening to my poem? no you didn’t like leaving my side
that last wonderful year we spent dreaming in morrows
fumbling with chapped lips so secretive you grasped me quite gently
the door creaks surreptitiously and I lean on you warm and scrawny
squinting quite unaware at me Rog you did and I caress your cheek
run my fingers over the oxygen tube and plastic tape
and kiss you and murmur ‘that’s good’
as nice as July midnights on the roof by the silver parapet and smoky sky
there are still more reasons why I miss you
such as your cigarette breath and cloudy eyes when I visited you at MHC
or song for me I remember that very well Rog darling
those misty hospice evenings slurring into each other but you steady
clutching my hand like a rock in a stormy sea
but poetry run thin for you Rog so I will end soon
I adore you my rag doll vagabond beau
in these faint January ‘days’ that haze with recollections
I thought I woke to find your rough-lipped breathy kiss
bedtime sheets unraveled
messy pillows moved 
and you perhaps in my mind or in my arms 

8. Then Forever
be my music, love
curl around the room when you aren’t there
hymns rising from the bench but absent
like the night time moon pale grey
silvering the counter with shadows and neon red clock
Rog flies away this beautiful evening
out of the cracks of hospice care
months after denial ran you still sit in phantom pose
strumming the guitar most competently
songs for me that tangle your strings
I listen quite attentively for your voice
chord of F major and arpeggios rising
through the stained pipes of the ceiling to celestial heights
and you were home with me with me WITH ME
like a celebration I watch you breath oxygen cup air
and just like that you stop say “love you, kid”
so I knew it could be alright if only the count didn’t get too low
but through bleaker days you’re faint and skinny you play
harmony deep wipe tears pray abstractly
to the deity currently on duty
“thank you for this evening for I couldn’t be without him tonight”
not tonight this winter evening that feels like summer
dreaming of leaves tangled green and wet you sweating and the pavement
hot underneath us wait could it be true?
you’re lying next to me feverish in bed
damp beautiful with an emaciated frame
a bruise in the hollow of your cheek
and blink weak and murmur quite raspy your voice
“we’re forever, no?”
take him now, sail off and away because we’ve had forever
I’ve drank it in sweet and painful and glorious like strawberry ashes
kept you in my grasp fought and burned to the end
and that glowing ember that wouldn’t come there would be no celebration and no mourning
just grey fuzzy sheets, almost-moonlight gently touching our skin connected
me, cold and quite exhausted with the radiator breaking
and pill bottles lonesome plastic by the side
mythology crawls in by the door and an Angel of Death
savouring your cool fingertips for the last time and your heart
organ tired but faithful trying so hard like an old horse bound for the glue factory
I breathe in your face
words don’t get spoken; unnecessary and not magical
we delight in we for the last few minutes that we could and then
and then
Then Forever
Rog, oh how you drift away quickly
I almost miss it but don’t

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