I got a call from a friend of mine's daughter the other day. She was going through his stuff and found my name and number. He died a while ago. Big heart attack. She found him in his favorite chair, in front of the TV one morning and realized he was dead after trying to rouse him to go to work.
He was a college dorm roommate. We were as close as brothers for a few years. I really liked him. We were never so close after college. That's the way it goes sometimes. Life gets in the way of friendship. He went through three wives in quick succession and had a couple of kids. The third wife, the one that stayed around longest, didn't like me much. When she left him, we became friends again but it had been over twenty five years and it really didn't take.
I used to go over to his house and sit with him in the evening every once and awhile. Drink a beer. Watch a game on TV. Talk. Maybe twelve times in fifteen years. It's been a couple of years since I've done that. I remember thinking to myself, the last couple of times I saw him that he didn't look good. Kind of gray. Classic cardiac. I thought he might die soon. I take no pleasure in being right.
He's the first one of my friends, that I liked, to die of more or less natural causes at the end of what could at least nominally be considered a full life. He wasn't going to be able to retire. He was too deeply in dept and had too many obligations. Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing.
Bye Bye George. You were a great friend. We had good times.