Epitaph

Here lies Jacob Joe.
He lived a life full of woe.
Never knew where to go.
Now he lies down below.

Bought my plot today.
Guess I own it now.
My very own patch of dirt surrounded by dead strangers.
Lovely thought.
I’ll be found by strangers, when I go. Taken to a morgue, by strangers. Prettied up by strangers for a viewing of sorts. Buried by strangers.
Should I even have a viewing? Who would come? Seems kind of pointless.
Dreams of having my own wife, my own kids, are so long abandoned now.
Just another lonely old dead fucker to put in the ground.
Sure, I had friends. Maybe one or two of them will get word and shed a thought for those old fun times we had. Those laughs before they all got on with their real lives and their families and stopped buggering their lives away at menial, meaningless jobs and the same old bars.
Or they’re dead, I guess.
I’ll have a viewing anyway. What the heck.
I suppose I’ll have to buy my own tombstone next. And my own coffin.
How does that work?
Do I bring the tombstone home with me? Stick it on the mantel until it’s time to stick me in the ground? A nice reminder of approaching death?
Do I try out the coffin in the store?
Seems comfy. Roomy.
Does it come in red?
I’m particularly apprehensive about dying.
At this point, it’ll probably be alright.
Gotta write my own epitaph too, I suppose. What’s that supposed to say?
“Here lies so-‘n-so.
Born and died some when and such.
Wasted his entire life.
And now he’s dead.”
Sounds about right.

Here lies Mr Wouldn’t.
Spent his life saying he couldn’t.
For fear of failing he decided he shouldn’t.
And now he’s dead and..

And he can’t even do a silly rhyme right.
Bloody useless.
Sitting alone in this old rickety kitchen, thinking about my epitaph.
Fine Saturday this one turned out to be.
Not that much different than the last thousand mind.
Thousand or so.
Done asking myself where it all went wrong.
That parts easy.
I had dreams. Wanted to be a weather man. Meteorologist. Or a biologist. Journalist. Archaeologist. Even anthropologist. Any gist would have done really.
I wanted to do them all. Ended up doing none.
Sat on my arse for years didn’t I. Putting it off. Drinking at the bar with the lads, hitting on the ladies, slaving away at that bloody call center week after week after week. Years and years of getting by, slowly trading my dreams.
Traded for hangovers and television.
Got fat. Lost my hair. Never did anything. Never went anywhere.
What woman wants that?
Friends all worked hard. Found their dream jobs, moved away.
Family forgot about me.
Cushy boring job got the best of me.
And here I am.

Here lies a lazy slob.
He sat on his couch and became a blob.
Wasted his life at a useless job.
Never made a girls heart throb.

That’s not bad.
Doesn’t need to rhyme, I suppose.
Anyway that’s a lie isn’t it. There was Keri, and Chloe, and Lorraine, and Fiona.
And the rest.
We we laughed didn’t we. Laughed and made love and went for brunches.
And they said common Joe. Get your arse in gear.
And I didn’t, did I.
They all went on to their successful careers didn’t they. In business and music and the government and all that.
With their handsome successful husbands.
What I could never be.
They all left and I wallowed around for it looking for things outside myself to focus the blame.
Deflect the responsibility.
Deny that it was me, all along.
The waste of space.
No one is going to recoil at the announcement of my passing.
No one is even going to know.

Here he lies.
Covered in flies.
Under grey skies.
To no ones surprise.

For real now. Let’s see.
He wanted to do something, but couldn’t quite figure it out.
Na.
Regrets a wasted life.
Would do it all differently had he another go.
Yeah, I suppose I would. Maybe it isn’t too late. I could still give it a go. There’s life in these old bones yet.
Maybe I can still make an epitaph. Something to be proud of.
Here lies Jacob Joe. He died a happy old man.
That would be a nice one.
Anyway it hasn’t been all bad has it. There’s been laughs.
And loves.
Good living, that. Not everyone can say it. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself.

Here lies Jacob Joe.
Had a good run.

Yup, that’ll do.
For now.
Anyway it doesn’t have to be done now does it.
Lot of life left in these bones yet. Few years or so.
Few good years.
To waste.
Well, better get started.

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