Wednesday 26 December 2018

A boy called Brad

A boy called Brad
was my first best mate
in high school.
We were inseparable.
It was year one of our teens,
we had each other
and the world
was going on summer.

At the start of the following year,
a boy the kids called Ruddy
- a fat little fuck -
to my face
that Brad and I were bumbuds.

It was the turn of the century,
it was an all-boys school
and for Ruddy, the ass,
to claim that Brad and I were lovers
was trauma
I couldn't process.

So I never did.

I spent the year ignoring Brad.
I treated him like shit,
like we'd never been a pair.
He didn't understand.
Neither did I,
in truth.

I think this was
the crucial episode
of my life.

The subsequent twenty years,
with their porn addiction,
obsessive compulsions
and constant cheating

should be credited
to the way I handled
Ruddy and Brad.

Brad was a great friend
but life is like death:
you can't go back on it.

I hope that Brad
is doin' alright.
I hope that Ruddy is too

for we're all the wounds of an innocence
that never keeps its feet.

The great horror
is innocence dies
before the flesh departs.

So here's to Ruddy
- the thorn of my life.
Here's to me
though I didn't have the guts to pull it out.

And here's to Brad
- my best friend in Year 8.

We'd be close to halfway through our lives.

going forward,
the pain will be smothered
now that the innocence
is too.

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