I flew and drove far away to attend a 60th birthday party.
On that trip I injured my back, doing basically nothing.
I went to a memorial for an old friend who died in January. Everybody was drunk, and one of his girlfriends threw another girlfriend into the pool, overturning the buffet table in the process.
On the same day I visited another dear old friend in the hospital, and told him as I was leaving that I’d see him soon. He died two days later.
At the request of his family I created a “memorial website” in his name. It logged 5,000 hits in a week. All I did for 10 days was manage the site, answer email, post pictures that people sent me and forward messages to his family.
When that was done I went to his funeral, a sprawling two-day affair with much laughter, many speeches, and many tears. Frightened, we all promised to be better friends, and stay in closer touch.
All of this felt like Death to me, closing in.
In the 80’s I might have been voted Most Likely to Suffocate in a Pool of My Own Vomit, but somehow I’ve outlived a bunch of the voters, and even though I’m not the last one standing, I see that there are a lot of dark vacant spaces around me.
I’m shell shocked. I haven’t written anything in this space while all this was going on, because nothing seemed important. I’m looking now at my life and wishing I had made more of it. I’m looking at the time I have left — I should say the time I might have left — and wondering what I can make of it.
Oh yeah — my back is better now.