ýKaren Alkalay-Gut

Try to remember


Some of you people don’t know how easy it is to die

I’ve had friend after friend slip by me

sometimes while I wasn’t even paying attention

and we were in the middle of an argument

There was a guy named Steve

years and years ago – a real queen in the old ways

almost unaware of it for a long time – and he

and I had a falling out over some other guy

both of us loved – and then he got leukemia

they say – before they even knew about AIDS –

And all the time I was thinking he was on the stage

off Broadway, playing in the Fantastiks

he was fighting for his life and we never got to make up.

You get in these fights with people you love

and figure they’ll come back into your life like a leitmotiv

But maybe it’s just that you wake up one night

from a dream and wonder where they’ve gone to. Or you see

someone on the street who looks just like they did

twenty years ago but it isn’t them or their kid or some transformation after surgery

I want you to know I’m not complaining – it’s kind of nice having a life

so filled with feeling, even if it does mean loss – and I’m only human – so I keep on

taking chances and making mistakes, and walking out on people I love

I may never see again because I’m pissed or tired or have

some other momentary commitment.

And anyway I know they’re inside me because they keep waking me up at night.

As one night I will remind you in your dreams of how we had it and didn’t

have it and maybe if you’d just said something…




from High Maintenance