today would have been my brother’s 38th birthday. i probably would have had to get him some silly video game or maybe an autobell car wash gift certificate! haha! he was a good kid with a lot of heart, who had a lovely view of exactly the right way to grate on my last nerve! well, he was the baby, after all….the one who could do no wrong in my mom’s eyes! i don’t even remember if she ever spanked him, for crying out loud!! i wonder if my sister can think of a time when michael had to go get his own switch! haha….

anyway, sometimes the universe just brings things to you–a gift for all the rotten things that might be going on at the moment. that’s what happened when this poem showed up in my email today….the author, john updike, was the world’s greatest at capturing a moment in time, no matter if he did it in poetry or short story form. in this poem, though, he’s making me remember michael’s uniqueness and happiness. he’s also telling me that it’s my job to recover the memories stored away in my subconscious–the ones that have been hiding ever so long….

Perfection Wasted

And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market —
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories
packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That’s it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren’t the same.

–John Updike

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