On a Day of Gigantic Events, a Small Tragedy

I talked here of a friend of mine who managed to get himself into trouble with the law.
Well, his sentencing was dragged out as the DA and police tried to use the evidence he gave against some larger fish, and then he had bariatric surgery (he was morbidly obese, and knew it), but then he missed our housewarming and stopped answering emails.
I got a call from a mutual friend on Monday, mentioning that he’d missed work for a few days, and wondered if he’d been sentenced and it hadn’t gone well and he hadn’t the heart to call us to see him off. But it was weird that he was so out of contact, so I offered to stop by his apartment on my way home from work the next day; he said no, he’d stop by on his way in to work in the morning instead.
No one answered, but he got the neighbors concerned enough to call the police, who broke in and found his body. I just got the calls from his friends and family.
I don’t know any details (we’re working to get the Coroner to expedite their processes to allow a funeral when his family gets here this weekend), but I’d assume it was natural causes.
He lived alone in a slightly shabby apartment building near the airport; his apartment was immaculate, nicely furnished, with a beautiful fish tank that he labored over.
Somehow, it’s heartbreaking to me to think of him dying alone in his apartment, not found for days. I think that’s a hard image because we expect to live and die surrounded by friends and family.
And it’s sad to think that he ended his adult life in trouble with the law – the way he began it.
But from talking to him, I got to know how far he came from the youthful rage with which he must have lived as a young gang member. The man I knew was thoughtful, considerate, and gentle.
And he stands as a lesson to me of the waste that the remaining racial divide in America represents; I used to call him “Senator”, simultaneously teasing him about the political dreams he had confided to me and acknowledging that he had the tools to make it happen. I always told him that Fitzgerald was wrong; that there could be second acts here in America. I wonder what his life would have been like if his childhood had been mine, and what he could have added to the world.

8 thoughts on “On a Day of Gigantic Events, a Small Tragedy”

  1. Very sad…..You are a good friend…I trust he is in a place of happiness and joy now.

  2. We live in our speech, we live in the hearing of others. The body? We’re associated with our material body at the moment of conception, but that’s not where our humanity is.
    Your friend lives in the hearts and minds of those who knew him, respected or loved him. That’s all we ever have, and by doing what’s right, by BEING AS WE SAY WE ARE, we raise up behind us those who will make mention of us when we’re gone. We all go on, and we all go alone, but some of us have people behind who spit on our graves, cursing us for our petty, painful acts of selfishness; and others praise us, grateful for the chance to have known us, if but for a moment, if only from afar, across the ether…
    Thanks for sharing your eye-opener. You’ve moved, touched and inspired me.

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