The Comedian’s Dead Son’s Memorial

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

 

 

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