I just want to be alive.
That’s what they say.

We all want to be alive.
We all want to strive for something, that we can’t see,
beyond the medicated sea of anxiety.
Pain pills, up and down, the moody blues.
Pete, I still miss you.
You rocketed me into the space I am in.
I am fighting through this depression,
Every time we think of you in the slightest,
The priceless memories of Pete Geraghty, out the window
Poor old medicated me.
Poor old medicated me, flying but too pill drunk to see.
Too separated from the ethereal to breathe.
And you are gone, and I am picking up pieces.
The surrealist paints a picture, the photographer snaps,
the manic laughs, and COVID tattoos illness on our backs.
And Pete is gone, and there is no way to look back.
I meditated for hours, to see you for a second.
I smoked indica, hoped you would rise from the dead.
I wanted to hold your memory
like a lighter, light a concert hall.
Outside fresh air, I thought I saw you there.
I can only try and dance that recovery waltz.
You tried so hard to live.
And no matter what, I still can’t bring you back to life.

I just want to be alive.
That’s what they say.
I want you to be alive too.
But I will meditate like you would,
listen to the Saints sing there soulful songs.
COVID depression is real, take the singer away from the song,
and you only have a skeleton.

You only have a living wake. Or an Irish funeral.
A Zoom burial. A lasting memorial, some memories, some photographs,
some scribbled poems, and manic laughter.

I never thought you would be the one to leave.
All I can do is keep you alive in memory.
To Saint Pete, raise your boisterous voices, your lamenting song,
with gentle effect. With gentle love and kindness,
I will miss you my friend.

You remain preserved in a photograph,
your laughter locked in, your smile, still shining.
Your kind heart took shape like a Polaroid.

I just want to be alive.
That’s what they say.
I just want you to be alive too.


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His new book is Train of Thought.