In five days it will be my brother, Ben’s, birthday again. He died almost five years ago, one month exactly after his 27th birthday. I’ve written about this relentlessly: the condition in which we found his body, the drug use that led to his death, his wonderfully supportive boyfriend, and how much I love and miss him.
The day after he passed away, we went through his cell’s phonebook and told his friends. My mother called one of his best friend’s from high school. I remember her and my brother hanging out when I was young, they even took me to Chuck-E-Cheese once. I barely remembered anything else about her except that she won a few local beauty pageants with her vocal talents. When my mom told her that he had passed away, she asked if she could sing a song at his funeral. My brother, when he was in high school, tried to kill himself, and had told her that he wanted her to sing a song from Cocteau Twins’ album This Mortal Coil called Song to the Siren.
Ben burned me an essential 80’s music CD and that song was on there. I had loved it for a few years previous, and now it signified his death. After his funeral, in an attempt to stay connected to him, I printed the lyrics out and put them in my locker at school. I’ve sort of forgotten about the song until a few months ago and I couldn’t remember the title of it.
Anyway, I finally remembered the title of the song, found the lyrics and found a video on youtube. I guess I just wanted to share it with everyone. The video kind of sucks, but there isn’t much out there from the early 80’s.
Long afloat on shipless oceans
I did all my best to smile
'Til your singing eyes and fingers
Drew me loving to your isle
And you sang, 'Sail to me, sail to me, let me enfold you.
Here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you.'
Did I dream, you dreamt about me?
Were you hare when I was fox?
Now my foolish boat is leaning
Broken lovelorn on your rocks
For you sing, 'Touch me not, touch me not, come back tomorrow:
O my heart, O my heart shies from the sorrow.'
Well, I'm as puzzled as the newborn child
I'm as riddled as the tide:
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Or should I lie with death my bride?
Hear me sing, 'Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you:
Here I am, here I am waiting to hold you.'