Flannery Correspondence

September 9, 2010

Young man, Brian Flannery, dead at age 30

Filed under: Family and Friends — BrianOFlan @ 06:00

Whence there was a boy called Brian he did his best to remain — a good boy.  No matter how difficult or stuffy his situation, he tried to smile full from his chin to his ears to his eyebrows.  He always found something unusual to make a joke from — those sacred hilarious jokes are least sensible and most risky (but only irreverent on the surface, you know).  He honored his boyish duty to climb and explore every secret passageway and had been on many roofs and in closets and through tunneling basements without much permission but plenty of appeals for forgiveness.

Everyone told him to grow up, of course.  So he did but it was hard.  He could get a job and a haircut and wear fancy clothes but somehow the boy snuck out through it all, something too cocky or too clever or too loud — grinning out beneath the civilized.  Some people would treat him differently for his pretty face, too young, and ask him if he needed adult supervision.  So he put on a carnival mask — a mustache and imperial beard (although he could only muster a soul patch).  Remember that movie-story where the guy with the Fawkesian Mask runs around alliterating against a corrupt government?  It was a little like that.

One ordinary day this young man, doing his best Peter Pan, felt a chill wind blow through him and ruffle the nearby calendar.  There, unavoidable as gravity, was the date:  The last day of his thirtieth year.  (Remember that your first birthday is the beginning of your second year.)  That night he retired with an uneasy certainty that something terrible was about to happen.

On the morning of his thirtieth birthday he awoke early yet already by 6AM he had aged:  His hair, only speckled with rare gray hairs before, was now entirely ghostly white.  He knew this right away because his eyebrows had sprouted into bushy tangles that curled under so he could see them.  As he tried to rise from bed he felt every bone creak like a stiff old cupboard door.  If he were metal he would want some oil but what cures the rust in old bones?  Walking down the stairs to break his fast he lost his breath, so hard was the motion, even downhill.  Meanwhile he tried to dress but none of his pants or shirts would button.  How fat he had grown in his Rip Van Winkle slumber!

His beautiful wife and children, still healthy and young, helped him and tried to comfort him but by noon he was degenerating past that age where the mustache is yellow and the hair, bald on top, is thin wisps around the sides of the crown.  He tried to smile his old chinny smile but the skin had lost its stretch and felt like old leather.  Cracks split in the corner of his eyes and he wondered if he could take it off like a mask.  He kept forgetting where he was and dropping things.  His hands shook and he needed powerful spectacles to read — the only thing he enjoyed!  At last his light was so dim he could hardly distinguish the faces of those dearest to him.  He lay back down in his bed and his wife and children recorded these final words, a request for what kind of music to play at the funeral:

(click here to play it all)

After these last gasps (those were the last they could hear), he closed his eyes.  They gave him some water because he seemed so thirsty — dry mouth always open just drawing slow breaths.  The doctor says he expired at 5PM, just in time for the long commute.





  1. Our dearest Brian, we miss you. Rest in peace.

    Comment by Flannery Family — September 9, 2010 @ 15:00

  2. Ye’re an armless, boneless, chickenless egg
    Ye’ll have to put with a bowl out to beg
    Oh Brian I hardly knew ye

    Comment by _kb — September 9, 2010 @ 16:21

  3. […] Flannery, age 8 Filed under: Family and Friends — BrianOFlan @ 08:10 In light of the end of the world, I thought it time to revisit what the author and businessman Brian Flannery composed in his tender […]

    Pingback by Brian Flannery, age 8 « Flannery Correspondence — September 10, 2010 @ 09:50

  4. Oh Brian, my thoughts remain on the good times we had when you were alive. BTW, you still owe me $5. (and I stole your toe socks…so warm and comfy)

    Comment by pshea — September 10, 2010 @ 14:30

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: