[WP] A man on his deathbed tells the story of his life to his kids.

I am just a poor boy/Though my story’s seldom told

“Jules, how does The Boxer start?” “I am just a poor boy…” Alexander asked me that question in Costa Rica. I sat next to Allie, thinking for a split second before responding to him. He was the kind of boy who girls fell in love with the second they laid eyes on him. I was no exception. Allie and I were sitting in the pool, watching the boys who walked by, trying to stave off the intoxication created by Alexander. I realized it was useless.

When I left my home/And my family/I was no more than a boy/In the company of strangers

I listened to these words through my left ear, splitting my headphones with the sweet French stranger next to me. I wanted to show her American music while we drove through the Provençal countryside. Almond trees and olive trees and lavender bushes and sandy and scrubby plants were visible through tinted, dirty windows. We were sitting in a bus, watching France roll by and listening to a song about New York. 

I’m sitting in a railway station/Got a ticket for my destination

I sang these words once under the bed in a hotel in Paris with tears in my eyes when I was twelve years old. It was the first time I had been away from my family. I would sing them many times more while sitting on planes waiting to fly out of New York or Hartford. I sang them to make sure I would come home. 

Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike/They’ve all come to look for America

We had graduated from high school the previous day. Five girls in the car, driving to Delaware via the New Jersey Turnpike singing along to the music we were travelling to hear. 

“I have one. I’ve never not listened to it on this road,” I told them. I played it. Everyone was quiet and the light was getting low. Diane was pushing eighty five miles an hour and the windows were down. The wind whipped our hair.

Oh, Cecilia, I'm down on my knees/I'm begging you please to come home My knees were jammed against the dash of a car to accommodate the lanky boy behind me. My boyfriend was driving, but the lanky boy behind me and I picked the music anyways. I-95 was empty and it was the first time I had been to Vermont in the summer. There was a week before my boyfriend and the lanky boy behind me were to leave for college. It was the last road trip we would take together.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread