Dec 24 2007
My neighbor, the one with the brain cancer who was barely older than I am, died this Saturday. I did not really know or feel it until today, but in retrospect I should have; the hospice lady knocking at my door saturday (she wanted next door), the sudden absence of cars in our shared driveway. Next door, with one thin wall between us, my life continued normally, a slim lightning bold of chance mutation holding our fates apart. Like all humans, we walk a fine line.
Keith was quiet in life and quiet in death; death is quiet in the modern age. In a smaller place or older time I would have known sooner; everyone on our street would have known that night. I did not know. I will send a card, but I am only an acquaintance, a tenant, a neighbor, someone passing through, a chance encounter.
He was a lawyer, and I hear he hated Christmas; fitting to die then, I suppose; though every year will be marred for his family. I got his mail occasionally; he got catalogs from the company that makes those despair posters. I suspect he had a wry sense of humor. The last time I saw him, we talked about the weather and I offered a peeled orange that I was holding in my hand, standing outside in the sweet california sunshine.
Cancer’s a bitch, as is life in general, and I suggest you tell the people you’re close to that you love them as quickly as possible and as often as you can.
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