….and the poet who made the phrase famous. R.I.P.
A few years back, when Guido and I were in Key West for an extended weekend (as is our wont), for some odd reason we found “People Who Died Died” an apt phrase for every other thing we encountered. Puns abounded: there were chickens crossing the street who “flied, flied.” The sex store featured people who “tied, tied.” Our lunch was seafood that was “fried, fried.” It would have been unbearable had we not been (a) vacationing in Key West, and (b) comfortably numb (and numb-er).
Naturally, when we are biking around and ride past the cemetery (housing people who died, died), we feel like we need to stop in. But circling the whole place, it seems all the gates are closed. I spot a worker inside, preparing a grave.
“Yo, mate,” I call out. “How do you get inside there?”
He straightens up, fixes me with a bemused look. “Ya gotta die,” he says.
I love Key West.
Jim Carroll, thanks for the song.