Thanks for what?

“I thought we might . . .” I am sitting in my friend’s bedroom. He’s struggling to say something but I’m not sure what he has in mind so I smile to encourage him. Eventually he says, “Maybe we could do some bread and wine. Eucharist.”

I hadn’t seen my friend for two years. It breaks my heart to see him like this.

Once he was a renaissance man. He played jazz: we used to go out for a drink and he’d sidle up to the band and offer his services at the piano and take the saxophonist to the cleaners. He taught public school: he challenged at-risk youth to write poems, to believe in themselves and share the glory of literature. He climbed mountains, he painted, he played guitar, he baked. He even knitted. His piercing, intense brown eyes listened to you as if you were the only one in the world. He was handsome, tall, charming: if he ever asked a beautiful woman up to see his etchings, she’d have been a fool not to go.


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