by Charles Aubrey Rogers
Trigger Warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method referenced. If you are in crisis, text “help” to 741-741 or call 988
This is real shit, not crap rap,
The park I used to trap at is next to the tunnel where Cal took his last nap.
Just a coupla weeks away from graduation,
He was supposed to have that gown and tassled cap hat.
Cosby was where he was supposed to grad at,
But he tied that rope and choked,
No joke, than ain’t somthin’ to fuckin’ laugh at,
That ain’t somethin’ to fuckin’ laugh at.
I lie in bed and see you die in my head,
Stay awake and squirm while my brain shakes with your final words,
“I’ll see you back at home Charles in a coupla weeks.”
I hate myself. I quake. I hate this place. I shake. It’s hell.
Stay awake and blame myself cause you were there for me when I wanted to take myself,
And I blame myself, even though I know, it’s not my fault at all,
But maybe if I was there I coulda stayed and helped,
You used to tell me to stay myself cause I ain’t like any body else
Sometimes in my dreams, you speak to me,
You say all is well, sounds like angels as they sing to me,
Sometimes in my dreams, demons scream to me,
And feed to me images of your final scenery.
It’s been over 3 months since I picked up a pen, cause every time I write I see images of him,
I visualize your end and I admit I miss my friend I’ll never see again,
I’m just a little empty within,
Cause I sat and waited for time we never got to spend.
Charles was in the same group at Second Nature in Clayton, Georgia with Cal Riley. Never in the history of this organization had two kids from the same high school ended up in the same group. There were 30 of them and it’s a surprising coincidence. Or fate?
Cal loved wilderness and to hear Charles tell of it, Cal cried when he had to leave. He stayed longer than every kid in the history of Second Nature. Never before had he felt so accepted and so happy. But it was super expensive, around $475 per day. I’m sure they let him stay as long as they could afford.
Charles did not like wilderness but he did like and reach out to Cal. He got used to it. Cal was an unusual kid but Charles knew he had been bullied and they watched out for each other. He died by suicide two days before graduation on June 3, 2013– almost exactly 2 years prior to Charles’ suicide (Charles died June 5, 2015).
I finally found Part I of this song but have not typed it up. He’s far angrier in that first song to those who teased and bullied Cal.
Charles was at home on his first home visit from a therapeutic boarding school in NY and had planned on seeing Cal. Cal didn’t know Charles was home on a visit as he had no phone at the time.
I so wish he could’ve stayed in wilderness where he was happy but of course that was cost prohibitive. It broke my heart to hear how much he had loved it. It broke my heart when he died and I thought of his family. I never entertained that it would happen to us. I also never knew he was suicidal while there.