Seems I’ve reached that age where people I know start dying. Not people my parents’s know; they’re dropping like flies. But when you’re my age (38) and in denial that you’re 38, having someone you’ve partied with die of cancer is not really in line with your/my way thinking.
But on to Ronnie. His mom bought the house next to my parents years ago. His mother has the negligable honor of being the only person to call the cops on my Mom (she tried to hit the dog, and missed by a mile). Ronnie.. . not like his mom. Super nice guy. I got to know him because every time the rental tenants bailed (which was often) Ronnie, and eventually his buddy Steve, came to the house next-door to make repairs. Ronnie wasn’t a drunk; he was still working while Steve and I working pretty much useless. Ronnie has seen me at my worst and never blinked. Unfailingly polite.
I remember hearing him cough 4 or 5 years ago and thinking that it sounded bad. Ronnie smoked a lot. At that time, he was smoking weird cheap tobacco things which I often bummed.
It’s strange, because now, I can see him, as it was when I opened the door. It was always a relief that it was “just Ronnie,” because the most honorous thing he ever asked was to borrow water.