Ferris E Jones is an award-winning, internationally published poet and screenwriter living in Puyallup Washington. His work has appeared in both print and online magazines including as the featured poet for Creative Talents Unleashed. Other magazines include: Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020, Glo Mag, Piker Press, Se La Vie Writers Journal, Write on Magazine, Outlaw Poetry, Degenerate Literature 17, Tuck Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, Warriors with Wings, In Between Hangovers, and many other literary publications. He is the recipient of two grants from the Nevada Arts Council and the Editor/Publisher of Nevada Poets 2009. Ferris has twice received honorable mention awards from Writers Digest annual screenwriting contest. He is also the Author / Editor of seven collections of poetry. You can learn more about Ferris E. Jones by visiting www.inquisitionpoetry.com where each month he features the work of other poets. The goal of this site is to spread the word of poetry throughout the world.
Let’s stall a moment. My best friend’s name is not Johnny. We found each in the cold of 1977. There were 12 days below zero. The longest unbroken string of sub-freezing weather in Chicago history. My thirteenth birthday in a hotel room. A surrounding of its time. Orange drapes looked out at cold doom. Stunned, I walked to school. People called me California Smog Boy. My father’s advice; hit the next person in the face. I did. For Johnny, I was the cool kid from California. The girls paid consideration to us; we became indivisible.
We adopted the dreaming years. Rite of passage screamed. We didn’t have our first beer together or smoke our first joint. Both of us, comfortably. We picked up our first girlfriends to a dance. Cruised in my 1969 Mustang. Played high school football and baseball. How to spend our millions? Time can shatter the glass. The repairman came in the summer of 1984. Johnny treated every day as a marble god. Chris, a remarkable artist, had a swimming pool. Our oracle. Spent our days seeking direction. The best summer of my life.
Years, trips to Chicago. Johnny appeared to the west coast. Both drinking heavily. His first round of golf. Chris faded away, bright, divorced. Tim was in Casper, Wyoming. Joe was in Illinois. Hopped on airplanes. Three days of fishing. Together after thirty-five years. I had stopped drinking. Tim’s household was marvelous. Joe owes a business. It’s my honor. Johnny’s comments are living. He had Hepatitis and liver disease. Tell no one. I concurred. I was disguising the reason I had quit drinking.
(One average, Covid Monday night I received a text message from Johnny).
—- I wanted to say goodbye (sorry it was in a text). I was okay with my childhood, the odd man out w/my siblings made it a better social life. I thoroughly enjoyed my wild and crazy bachelor life that I was lucky enough to experience. Dating my wife was outstanding! Nobody ever made me laugh as much as she (that’s why I married her). My friends are all controlled by their wives, corporate America controls my livelihood and I’ve just grown tired of trying to live my life and always being shot down. W/my health, what do I have to gain by sticking around? More continuous disappointment? I’m done, I’m tired, I just want to head off to the unknown, maybe there is truly something better out there for me? I just know I’m tired of waiting on nothing to look forward to. We’ve had a lot of good times/memories, thanks for accepting me for being me after all these years. Thanks for being my best friend!!!!! Wishing you receive all that life has to offer–in the manner that you had hoped & strived for.
—- Dude, that was an accidentally sent……
—-Oh, I got some explaining to do
(Then I responded)
—- Yeah, you sounded like a suicidal Unabomber.
—-Truthfully, that’s where I’m at…. My intentions were to have it on my phone if I don’t wake up tomorrow.
—- at least someone would know how I felt. That person was you.
—- Well. I’m glad you chose me. But do nothing crazy. You need to stick around for a trip next summer if this stupid virus goes away. I’m with your thought brother no matter what happens.
—- I honestly don’t know if the whisky & what little pills we had in the house will get me where I’m going, but if it doesn’t, I’ll text u in the morning. Don’t dwell or panic on my actions, just try to understand. I’m sorry for the incidental text, please don’t judge me wrong.
—-You are my best friend and I would never judge you. You never judged me when everybody else wrote me off. Hope to talk to you tomorrow.
—- Me too. I know my wife still loves me, and it truly is until death do us part. Thanks.
—- Love ya brother.
I didn’t get another text that night. Can you believe it in the middle of a pandemic? There were lots of messages being sent out each. I didn’t sleep. Prayed when I don’t pray. I have no right to judge. I have not earned it. Love forced no action. He would do the same for me.
(In the morning I received one more text from Johnny).
—- I’m still here. I don’t know what was going thru my mind last night. If I didn’t see the note, I probably wouldn’t have gotten back to you. Fortunately, this wasn’t a pre-planned act. I’m sick as hell going back to bed, going to take the day off and truly think about what’s going on. Sorry for putting u thru this….
—- It’s all good with me. I’m just glad to hear you are still here.
(The next weekend I sent him pictures of the fish I caught on my camping trip with my family. He laughed at the size of my fish).