They say you’ve died. They say we won’t see you humming your tune and waking the smile out of frowns behind counters anymore. Yeah those ladies loved your sunny disposition, long behind a counterfeited expiration date, or maybe you just couldn’t wait to escape the pain that was eating you alive. But I don’t know if its true. I still see your face in the presence of my mind. I still hear your accented voice. The cheer in it. The life thriving in the tone of its warm Island sound, that rises to catch the transient express of fleeting daylight joy. And I have yet to shed a tear. It would not cost much more than a moment, but I’m saving it for your absence in the days to come, when they say that you are alive, in the memory of those that remember you as you were. Not as you could have been. A man. A friend. A father for better or worse. A giver. An optimist with a melody in hand. To me, a symbol and a stranger, but oddly enough, more familiar than the faces that I have made a closer examination of. And if you are dead, the misery of the agony that came to know you so well, will be the first to abandon your Temple for another sucker of the breast milk of life. Not for the love of company. Like hate it feeds on dark necessity. Pain does not like to sleep alone, but its a selfish lover, that commits to keep you a prisoner without pleasure. And where the pain excites the life it throttles to submission, we can only hope that your heart did not surrender without a struggle before you exhaled your love. Your last breath in exaltation. Your first words in…..