April 14, 2008

A Meeting Of The Minds

We gathered for Christmas 2006: Dr. John, Duck, and Jay.

Duck: The committee that cared about Duck met yesterday.

Me: Followed G where ever he wanted to go yesterday. So he followed me too. I wanted to go to the fat ladies store for shorts…which ended us up at Ross for a pair of shoes I had seen the day before that matched the new shorts. Yes, they were still there. Yes, it’s bad when the manager of a discount store knows you. Yes, too, I found the perfect dress for the trip too.

There’s a huge gap in our lives with Duck gone.

Today: Laundry, walk, weights, write in the cool of a darkened room. Fix the shoulders of one dress for the trip too.

G: He wanted to walk the swapmeet not knowing that Sunday would be hotter than Saturday. We are both feeling a bit better on all fronts today.

Work: Padre’s 2008 Schedule.

Game Weather schedule. I work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week.
It was only by serendipity I checked the online calendar against the written calendar. The two did not agree. G called Dr. Jay’s house to discover “The Friends of Duck” were to meet at that moment. Or an hour from that very moment.

Instead of a pizza joint by the bay where we two were retiring after a steamy day off, we four met at a pizza joint in Little Italy. Over a giant antipasto shared four ways, garlic bread, and various entrées, we shared Duck stuff spreading our thoughts and papers over the table as if they were grated parmesan cheese.

G explained about the pictures and album, the fact that there was cash hidden everywhere, and that the nursing home suddenly appeared with a two thousand dollar check that we think is an error.

“Someone there will wake up to the fact there has been an error and want it back,” G said.

“Or Medi Cal will claim it,” I continued.

G has kept Duck’s checking account open and the check was dropped in it Friday. There it can sit.

“That’ll pay for your cruise,” one of them said jokingly.

“It was paid for before Duck’s death.” I’m feeling guilty.

When I suggested scanning his photo album then sending it to his cousin, they said we had done enough. Don’t send the album. We were to keep his random cash….we still owe a few hundred on Myrtle the Toyota, so we can pay her off. Maybe we can let Duck officially buy Marie her bed. A giving back from one recovering alcoholic to another.

We had fun going through his album....identifying friends. Look, there's the Queen who who was Art's lover before Guilermo. Oh, is that me? Look, who is that. We laughed at remembered moments.

"That's Elaine Brooks. She was wonderful. Her career was on an upswing until she got that brain tumor," Dr. Jay said waving her arm in a great swoop. We were silent for a few moments remembering her brilliance. I remembering the last time I had seen her sad in a corner at Duck’s apartment.

It was a good dinner; a good gathering of friends talking of his marvelous recovery from so much brain damage after his suicide attempt. He was so humorous they said. So delightful. Such a good roll model. He scrubbed friends houses and apartments under the table and saved every dime so he could travel. Yosemite. For years he went to Yosemite every year with an elder travel group. Laguna Beach. Catalina.

One year he spent months making a Christmas Tree costume for a holiday tour on Catalina. He was so proud when he won first place. He talked about it endlessly. We all nodded and smiled at that.

After another hour of monopolizing a table, we parted with promises to meet for dinner again soon and headed back into the steamy city as the sun slid over Point Loma and into the sea.


  1. SO healing to talk and share the happy times. You are in my prayers, I am thinking of you.

  2. So sorry to hear that Duck has passed, Mage. I am sure he appreciates all that you and George are doing to take care of his affairs. These are the last things we can do for a friend, and you are doing them well.

  3. Sounds like a thoroughly enjoyable evening. After all these years and especially these last months, it is good to spend some hours with a lightness of spirit.

  4. I hope you keep on meeting these friends and sharing your memories. It's one of the most helpful things in healing.


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