The Kind of Life He's Got

He’s got the kind of name that sounds good no matter what you pair it with
He’s got the kind of fingertips that are maybe a little too soft
He’s got the kind of dreams that don’t stretch much farther than those fingertips
He’s got the kind of attitude about life that makes you want to grab him by the shoulders and shake him
Makes you want to scatter ashes of whatever hopes you ever had over him
            As if that might wake him up
            As if your dreams were ever enough to bring anything to life
                        They weren’t, in case you were wondering
                        They’ll never be enough to change this kind of attitude in him
He’s got the kind of animals in his head that haunt him and pretend to inspire him
            He feeds them
                        Stale bread
                        They’re all kinds of geese
                        But mostly just the ones worth ignoring
He’s got the kind of hoodie that lets you know how he feels about his life
            It’s grey
            It smells like cigarette smoke
            There’s a burn in the pocket
            Burrowing your face into it feels warm and safe
                        Like a home you were never supposed to call home
He’s got the kind of facial hair that lets you know how he feels about his life
            It’s patchy and blonde
            He doesn’t shave for special occasions
                        It’s the kind of facial hair his friends make fun of him for having
He’s got the kind of friends who grow great mustaches
            They are sexual and drink a lot of beer
            He is less like them than he likes to believe
                        He also drinks a lot of beer
He’s got the kind of past that makes you feel sick and sad all at once
He’s got the kind of car you worry about
            It’s gold
            He says it’s tan
            One of the headlights is really bad
            It smells like cigarette smoke
The floors of it are lined with extra-large plastic cups from Sheetz (which were undoubtedly at one point filled with fountain Mountain Dew) and Little Cesar’s pizza boxes (which were undoubtedly at one point filled with pepperoni pizzas)
He’s got the kind of jokes that make you feel like a terrible person for laughing at them
            But you laugh anyways
                        You can’t help it
                        You laugh before you realize you’re laughing
He’s got the kind of feet that smell worse than most feet
            They haven’t covered much of this earth
                        They probably won’t
                                    This doesn’t seem to bother him much
            He keeps them in brown leather shoes that have seen better days
He’s got the kind of eyes you like to have on you
            They go soft at the edges when he’s got something on his mind
            They are light brown
                        Lighter brown than his shoes
            The right iris has a dark spot on it
                        When I pointed this out to him, he said it was because of his cancer
                                    I laughed at that before I realized I was laughing
                                                He doesn’t have cancer
He jokes about having cancer and diabetes
It’s funnier than it sounds
He’s got the kind of voice that changes depending whom he’s talking to or what he’s talking about         
            He uses his normal voice when he talks to me
                        I say it’s his normal voice because it’s the voice I’m most used to
            He has a deeper voice for when he’s talking to his guy friends
            He has a higher, friendlier voice for when he’s talking to strangers
            His voice gets quieter when he talks about his father
On the day he left
            His voice was serious
                        He never spoke to me like this           
                                    It was a terrifying sound
            His past was his excuse
            His fingertips clenched themselves around laundry baskets filled with his things
            His eyes and mine locked as he stood in my living room
                        And it was then that I told him
                                    “I hate you”
                        It was the angriest and saddest I’d ever been
                                    I didn’t mean it
            His car disappeared in the haze of Harmony Road
            The animals in his head took flight into the November twilight
His name was a ball in my throat
            His dreams no longer involved me
He’s got the kind of presence you miss having around
            Even two months after he’s gone
                        You can’t always really explain why
He’s got the kind of absence that makes you want to scream and hit walls
He’s got the kind of image that’s full of irony and metaphors
            It’s dirty
It’s an image you shouldn’t want to paint so many pictures of
                        But you do
                                    Because even after two months
                                                His image       
                                                            Is engraved onto your palms
                                                            Surrounds you
                                                            Fills you with feelings you shouldn’t have
He’s got the kind of life that never should have involved me
            Even though
            I don’t really believe that
                        To be true
                                    At all.

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