I don’t have a post in me this morning. I was working on one last night, and planned to put the finishing touches on it this morning while the kids are eating breakfast, but can’t do it.

After school drop-off and before I go to work this morning, I’m going to visitation* for my neighbor, who died last week. He’d been an alcoholic for years and years. I remember when I first moved into the building, the police came at least once a month because he and his girlfriend were having a fight and she was attacking him (and then trying to press charges against him). I’d see him around the building, and he was kind and gentle, with this mellow, sweet energy. In the last few years he dropped a lot of weight and started using a walker (I’m guessing he was around 70 when he died) and his speech was labored and slurred even when he wasn’t obviously drunk.

I just feel so horrible for him, that his whole life was so wasted by this disease. He was in bondage to alcohol and couldn’t free himself. Who knows what he was when he was young, and what he could have accomplished? He should have been New York City Grandpa, taking his grandkids to the Museum of Natural History and out to diners and to the playground, instead of this sad, kind man in a bathrobe reeking of booze.

I feel so bad for his children, who didn’t really get to have a dad.

I have no idea where I’m going with this. I think I’m just wondering how people make peace with needless waste and loss. And also how we keep working on ourselves so we don’t end up wasting our own lives.


* This is when the family is at the funeral home and people come to sign the guest book and pay their respects to the family. I grew up with this in American Midwestern gentile subculture, but don’t know if it’s universal, or is called visitation or something else in other places and subcultures.

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