it’s time

Whenever I hear “Fred Jones Part 2” by Ben Folds, I sob. Sometimes there are tears, and sometimes not. Today there were tears.

Fred sits alone
at his desk in the dark
there’s an awkward
young shadow that waits in the hall

he has cleared all his things
and he’s put them in boxes
things that remind him
that life has been good

twenty-five years
he’s worked at the paper
a man’s here
to take him downstairs
and “I’m sorry,
Mr. Jones, it’s time”

there was no party
and there were no songs
’cause today’s just a day
like the day that he started

and no one is left here
that knows his first name
yeah, and life barrels on
like a runaway train

where the passengers change
they don’t change anything
you get off
someone else can get on
and “I’m sorry,
Mr. Jones, it’s time”

the streetlight
it shines through the shades
casting lines on the floor
and lines on his face
he reflects on the day

Fred gets his paints out
and goes to the basement
projecting some slides
onto a plain white canvas

and traces it,
fills in the spaces
he turns off the slides
and it doesn’t look right

yeah, and all of these bastards
have taken his place
he’s forgotten, but not yet gone
and “I’m sorry, Mr. Jones”
and “I’m sorry, Mr. Jones”
and “I’m sorry, Mr. Jones, it’s time”

After I was good and soggy, I went to replay it and the CD now refuses to play that track. I’m taking this as a sign. Of what, I’m not sure yet.

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