Loss of a Friend

On the way home I stopped by the local arts society to pick up some artwork and visit my friend who works there. Much to my surprise my friend Rob was there, whom I had not seen in a month or two. We go back 30 years as students in art school. We have been through some difficult times in each others lives; death of a parent when we were 19, some very painful heartaches, and now dubious health issues. There have been periods of time where we have not seen each other in years, but in spite of his traveling around the world, we have reconnected at various points in time, and have a comforting and caring friendship.

He told me today of the death yesterday morning of one of our mutual friends, a man whom I have spent many afternoons swimming, playing croquet, having drinks, dining, and conversing about the state of our lives, of mankind, and our kids. He died of a heart attack, a man not that much older than myself. He was a man who loved to live life to its fullest, sometimes too much. He was a man who loved books, conversation, women, and a good barbeque or party.

I am in mourning; for his girlfriend of many years, for his boys who are still young, for his friends who loved him dearly, for his students, for his life being cut short.

I hope you did not have much pain John, and that you were not scared. I hope you are in a beautiful place, where you have an eternity to read and enjoy a game of croquet or two in the late afternoon, and a smoke, a place where it doesn't matter what you eat and what time you go to bed and get up.

For you I opened up a bottle of desert wine I have been keeping in the closet for years. I dusted it off, opened it, sniffed the cork, and poured out the necktar of the gods into a much loved glass picked up for a song at a flea market. I sit here and sip it and smile a sad smile. Here's to you.....

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