Tuesday, October 22, 2013

So Long Rick

   I open the door and strains of 'You Always Hurt the One You Love' by Spike Jones filled my ears.  Uncle Billy, wearing his jacket, sat in his easy chair watching the crawl from CNN on a soundless TV.
   "You can turn that off," he said, motioning to the iPod docking station.
   I turned it off. "Are you ready to go?"
   He flicked off the TV. "Yeah ... been sitting here for twenty minutes waiting for you ... I couldn't listen to anymore of the idiot news."
   "So, you were just watching it?"
   He stood up. "I didn't want to get sucked into a movie or anything ... in case you actually showed up."
   "I'm sorry I'm late, Uncle ... I just received an email with some bad news."
   Billy looked at me. "You look a little down ... what was it?"
   "An old friend of mine ... Rick Massoll ... passed away last week ..."
   "No kidding ... I remember him."
   "He was a one of my closest boyhood friends ... we spent a lot of time together all through school."
   "I remember ... didn't he live on Donald?"
   "Yes ... just a block away."
   "What happened?"
   "Don't know exactly ... he wasn't in the best of health and they found him in his condo ... last week."
   Billy shook his head. "That's too bad ... when was the last time you saw him?"
   "That's just it ... we drifted apart years ago ... and I hadn't seen him in about fifteen years ... I really regret that we never seemed to be able to hook up."
   Billy put his hand on my shoulder. "It's tough to lose an old friend ... I know."
   I was a little surprised by Billy's show of empathy and compassion. "Thank you, Uncle."
   He abruptly pushed me toward the door. "Now, let's get going before Manny's closes."
   I sighed. "How many times do we have to go through this? Manny's never closes."
   "That's what you say ... but you just never know."

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