The drums

I miss you brother, even when I do get to see you I still miss you. We sit and talk like the old men we are becoming, rather than like the young angry youths we are inside. I guess that is their final joke isn’t it? That’s the one the spectators will laugh about the longest, the one they will remember after you and I have faded like they always wanted us to.

Something has changed in us hasn’t it? In all my memories you are dancing around like a fiery entity out of control, igniting everything and everyone you touched. You took my hand and I followed you to the frontline, knowing I might not walk back again but never caring. I am proud to have known you, proud to have stood by you, even when you didn’t see me. It wasn’t physical anymore.

I still hear the drums my brother. They wake me up, they jolt me when I’m sitting at my desk in the office, confused and disoriented. Sometimes I look out the window and I forget where we are, because you are not out there anymore brother. I still hear the drums, and I hear our footsteps to the drums as we crossed the river. Our fury was enough to bring down the bridge that day had we wanted to. Like ancient tribal beings of lust and hunger we fought through. They had woken the sleeping dragon that spurned us forward like armless berserkers and we would not back down. We stood together and they would fall before us.

I look so different today my friend. They have doused that fire in me when they took you from me. Now I’m old and dying, and when I see the look in your eyes I often consider taking my own life for failing you. I don’t regret one bit of it. If I should have to do it all again, I would do it all again happily over and over again, and live through this again and again, to be with you again and again my brother.

I can still hear the ringing in my ears, a hundred metal bars banging against the railing. We were a fearful visage to behold, while our hearts cowered in fear themselves. We knew we could be maimed, but never broken. We knew we could die, but we could never lose.

Today we are maimed, we are broken, we are dead and we are losing. They’ve sucked the life out of us when they smashed those pearls that we fashioned our dreams into into a thousand pieces. Look at us today brother. We are so much older, but not a bit wiser. The wrinkles on our faces are not marks of laughter anymore, but of the pain we bear. We kept lists till they were too long and our friends became numbers rather than names. But call on me brother and I will be there. I will be weak and feeble and useless, but show me that fiery dream again, and I will stand again by your side.


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