Crying to Cope

More years ago than I can believe, I worked with a really sweet young man, S, at a restaurant on Lark Street. When we met he was at his best, something I didn’t know until later when I saw him at what was arguably his worst. He was clear eyed, good looking and hardworking, a good coworker and an engaging human. We talked about music and food and some of the mistakes he had made in his life. 

S introduced me to Citizen Cope, a musician whose voice, lyrics and guitar combine to communicate a mood of appreciation for what you have and acceptance for what you might be missing. 

I miss S.

I was shocked this morning to realize that S has been gone for nearly 9 years. His death, sadly, wasn’t unexpected, but nonetheless it was heartstopping. He should still be here, he should have gone to last night’s Citizen Cope show with me.

But, since that wasn’t possible.  I went alone. 

When I arrived at the Egg I found my seat, pleasantly surprised by its location in the center of the third row. I settled in and awaited the dimming of the lights, thinking about S and the noose that is addiction. Citizen Cope took the stage, tuned his guitar meticulously and began his set. 

During the show, I find myself closing my eyes to let the music and lyrics sweep over me. There were moments when I felt almost as if I was transported to a place that balanced being present and being removed perfectly. I saw S’s face as it had been when we first met, handsome and tan, rather than gray and glistening with sweat as it had been on that final day we had been together. 

Citizen Cope went into “Son’s Gonna Rise” and I immediately felt my eyes fill. Instead of trying to repress my tears, I allowed them to slide down my cheeks in the dark. It felt good to let them go, to physically honor the loss of S along with more recent losses, as the venue pulsed with music and dancing. Death may end life, but music and memories are eternal. 

S, like Cope sang –

You never grow old.

Because you’re forever young

Hope you enjoyed the show.

4 thoughts on “Crying to Cope

  1. Music can lift you to great heights, it can also bury you in pits of Hell. Music is the original “Time Machine”.

  2. So very sorry for your loss of your friend S. Hugs to you Silvia, may the good memories keep you going.

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