Monday, July 22, 2013

My Old Friend and My White Jacket

The other day I got word that a high school  friend had recently died.  I won't say his name because his daughter has requested to keep it quiet.   This guy, although as likable as he was,  stayed in trouble.  In high school it was mischievous trouble,  which we all did in our group, but he graduated to bigger things, like fraud, bad checks, drugs, and so on.  He knew how to be charming and shoot the shit with the best.

Several years ago someone saw him in his white country prisoner's uniform on the side of the road having a cigarette with one of the overseers while the other overseer and another convict were digging  the hole on the roadside.

He had a drinking problem, a drug problem, a diabetic problem, and other problems.

Back in high school once I bought a nice white windbreaker.  I thought it looked sharp.  So did my friend, he asked to borrow it, promising me he would return it the next time he saw me.  Several times I asked him for it back and he always had a bizarre, but an imaginative story, why he couldn't give it back at that moment.  Finally he avoided running into me.  If he saw me get out of my car at Varners, he would quickly leave.

A  friend that called and told me said they were just letting his close friends know of his death, and the friend sounded a little hurt when he said, "I guess they didn't think much of me, I had to learn second handed."

I said, "And I third handed".

For this I am going to use Joe as the deceased's name.  When my live friend was told Joe had died he asked how did he die.  He was told, "Just  being Joe."

Now, I won't ever get that white jacket back.


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