The Comedian’s Dead Son’s Memorial

by Buzz on 5/01/2016

ennis cosby memorial

we would take
out of town guests
up there all the time
point to the fresh wreath
on its thin wire easel and ask:
“Do you know what happened here?”

then tell them the story
of the comedian’s dead son

it is a tragic tale
drenched in irony

they found the son’s body
beside his car
on a side road
overlooking the 405 freeway

he had a flat

pulled over

and was killed

at first everyone assumed
he was targeted because of his father
either a kidnapping gone wrong
or a strike at a black man
who dared to be successful

but the truth
was much sadder
than that

a common punk
looking for a rich score
saw the young man’s fancy car
nicked its tire
to cause a slow leak
followed the son
until he

pulled off
the 405
and up

to the access road
to change his tire
(and get murdered)

the punk
had no idea
who this victim was
other than
one of ten thousand
other young men
driving fancy cars
when the punk
drove junk

when the punk was caught
and the truth came out
everyone felt sorry
for the comedian

“Geeze, if it
can happen
to his family,
it can happen
to anybody’s
family.”

and parents
hugged their sons
and daughters
a little tighter

(and though
it was never
spoken
the unsaid thought
dangled
in the air:
“Well, maybe if
he hadn’t bought
his son such
a fancy car
the young man
might be alive
today.”)

for years after that
the comedian and his wife
saw to it that
a fresh wreath
was placed
on the exact spot
where their son died
along with
their dreams
and hopes

you used to be
able to see it
heading up
the freeway
about a third
of the way
up the side
of the mountain

a few years ago it
was determined
the 405 needed
to be widened
and so they
made a
deep
cut
into
the side
of the mountain
and carved away
the physical place where
the comedian’s son died

completely by chance
this was also the time
the comedian’s
career / reputation / life
began unraveling

today
if you want to see
the spot where
the comedian’s son
died
you have to find
an invisible point
suspended
in mid-air
about forty feet
above the rightmost lane

the crime remains
but there is no place
for a memorial
and the unspoken thought today
is that of all parties involved
maybe the son
got the best deal
at least he didn’t
have to witness
his father’s humiliation

and if that isn’t irony
I don’t know what is

text © Buzz Dixon

 

 

buzz.dixon.mainblog@gmail.com

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