Dead I Know

Memento mori: carpe diem, vita brevis — dum vivimus, vivamus!

An acquaintance, of about four years duration, just died [Spring 2009]. Not unexpected, a few months notice; frankly didn’t care for some of the stuff she did whilst on the planet, but de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est don’t you know.  Memento vivire

Started the thought train, all the dead people I know…

Back in MYF in the time of ‘confirmation’ (11 years old?) there was Tommy Miller in the same class: never got all the details, but then he showed up missing a leg. No idea why the amputation, but soon after was told he died. Not sure if he completed the x’ian rigmarole either as I dropped out of the whole christian bilge before then.

During the Boy Scout years (age 12?) there was Richard Giacopasi: about one year older than me, his older brother John about my brother’s age, his younger brother Robert a year younger than me. The Fox Patrol as I recall. There was a publicity exercise one Thanksgiving where we pitched tents on the observation deck of the Empire State Building the night before the parade. How cold was it?

  • colder than the nipples on a witches teat
  • colder than a barrel of penguin shit
  • colder than the hairs on a polar bear’s ass
  • colder than the frost on a champagne glass

Sorta like the well digger’s brass monkey’s balls: Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker nicht war? Some years later he was beaten to death with a baseball bat by some mental retard. Open casket so I stayed in the back.

Two friends’ deaths had some gruesome commonality: Eric Yingst, whom I’d known since early ’70s, died in mid-1995; but he’d been dead several days before missed & body discovered. Allen Hale, known him since the same college daze, died in 2008 February; had been dead over a week before missed & body discovered.

In Buddhism, at least in the Vajrayana flavour of mine, there’s a certain grace in leaving the body undisturbed after death: good for the Bar-do. Quite a ghastly experience for the ones finding the body.

Big Al (Hale, that is) — was almost the last of the aulde-school-tie, only a couple left of that vintage.  Serious disability, of course denied three times by gov’t regardless that there was more steel than bone in his back.  Gov’t finally admitted yes, you’re disabled, paid retroactively; died a few months later, around Mardis Gras 2008.  A number of days before his brother-in-law & landlord broke into the Winter apartment.

Joe Bernardo was that college-cohort, roommates for a while up on Sylvan Lane. Tire guy to the SE, died in the late 90s. Close to when my brother died {the day before St Pat’s in 1997 at age 47}, & only found out a few months later when I called the tire store.   Brother Richard’s death, that’s what seemed to jump-start mom’s decline, after all, who wants to bury their children? Her body finally gave out the day before Mother’s Day 2001, the mind had gone a couple years earlier.

Hmmm; there was grandmom died in 1975, right at my college graduation time, maybe a target date; George Armb around 1985, uncle/Gram’s friend.  He moved into the apartment downstairs when I was on Driscoll, later to a group home.  Also on the roll: Tim Angenend, Nina, Wayne Mechanic; Arthur Oppenheimer (my uncle by courtesy tho technically a cousin).  Just heard (2009-04) about Gloria from HAMTMC Circ when I went by old library for tax stuff: had died the day before, knew she’d been out & was going to go on disability but hadn’t thought…

“Death is a debt to nature due, which I have paid & so must you” —tombstone inscription, apocryphal {in Gravity’s Rainbow –Pynchon}


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