Five years back PartyMan calls me and says he's been to see the sawbones, mainly because he was too sick to walk to the bar. So the sawbones runs a bunch of tests, and delivers the news. And it isn't good.
Bad News: PartyMan has cancer.
Good News: It's cancer of the kidney, and it's operable. So, with a little snick-snack-chop, PartyMan will be cancer free and all that implies.
Bad News: At some point in the past, PartyMan suffered a heart attack. His heart is at 60% efficiency, and if there were any choice at all the sawbones would not take a knife to him, because, well, PartyMan is not a good bet. PartyMan has no memory of suffering a heart attack, and that should tell everyone a little something about PartyMan.
PartyMan needed money for medication and to live on during recovery. He asked me for $150 and I gave him $300 with the stipulation that:
- He understands that the money does not come from me, it comes from the Lord. Were it up to me, things would be a little different.
- He would not spend the bread on liquor or other recreational substances.
And that was that. So PartyMan survived the surgery, recovered and paid me back with a little interest. Like I said, that was five years ago. Since that time PartyMan went on disability and got inside a Section 8 apartment in a building downtown. About a week ago last Wednesday he dialed 9-1-1 and the paramedics found him inside the apartment. He'd stopped breathing. He was comatose.
So they got him going again and took him to Saint V's in Toledo (Ohio), where he was hooked up to various machines that kept him breathing. He lasted about a week and never regained consciousness.
In the meantime some people, whoever does these things, managed to find and contact a living relative (the dead relatives are ignoring the whole business), and PartyMan's brother and sister showed up to clean up the mess. One way or another, they discovered Yours Truly, and I became involved.
I started calling people we both knew and discovered that another old friend, SunnyGirl, that I hadn't seen in a while was also deceased. She had a four line obituary in the local rag and that was that. No other information, not even the names of survivors.
Then I called a mutual friend, Big Daddy Fastbucks, and when I couldn't raise him I started to wonder just what was going on. He finally called me back, and that's a relief. He's doing well.
PartyMan was 60 years old. SunnyGirl was 71. Seventy-one doesn't seem all that old to me, but I guess it isn't the age so much as it is the mileage.
I caught myself making a list of dead friends, associates and casual acquaintances. I think I'm depressed.
Mother's Day is this Sunday. I think I'm going to work extra hard at giving my own dear mother a very nice Mother's Day.