I used to work with a young man, a hard man, reminded me of me, a lot, when I had been his age. I had just overseen the birth of my first son, and had taken the best job I've ever had. As far as enjoyment was concerned, anyway. I was one of two mowers for a medium sized city in Oklahoma.
Sadly, I can't even remember his name, this barely twenty-one year old man, brash, defiant, did his job and helped you with yours, always with a grin and a smartass comment, handsome beyond words, and I thought of him as the little brother I never had.
And then one night, his stepfather was out gunning for this young man's mother, along with a couple of white trash accomplices, and he went to my friend and co-workers apartment, and held a shotgun to his head and told him to tell where his mother was, or else, and my friend looked him in the eye, spit in his face and said fuck you, and the stepfather decorated the apartment with my friends brains.
Yes, it was a closed casket affair. We were all there, we from the Parks Department, every man and woman. He had known his life would likely end badly, so he had left a last will and testament. One of his requests, near the top of the list, was to have this song played at his funeral.
When the first notes from that Hammond B3 broke over us, we all collapsed into a heap on each other. Even now, I can barely see the keys for the tears.
Johnny just came in and asked me if I remembered imitating Patrick from 'SpongeBob' to get him to take his medicine to knock him out before surgery a couple of years ago.
We carry our ghosts with us...