I usually drive, never walk, but today I need to clear my head.
Need the time.
Air is crisp, there’s moisture in it, sense of foreboding rain. The sun grants Last Rites to the Earth and dips below the horizon. A breeze takes the cue, cuts in and slices through my unprepared body. Crusty brown leaves swirl, dodging my steps, giving way on the sidewalk.
I head up Washington, kids shooting hoops in the last of the light. Making noise, calling out, like they’ll live forever. Cross over to First Street. Walgreens is open, surprising me. Twenty-four seven, yeah I get it, but today? I shake my head.
I wait at the corner to cross. Cars zipping by. The hell are these people going? What can be so important? I count them. Fifteen cars before the light turns red, and one more rushes through. To where?
Patrick’s is across the street, but before I can duck in, I have to get past a guy. He’s waiting for me. Fitz saw me before I even crossed. Gives a curt nod. Then a hug.
“I heard.” He steps back, gives me space. “I remember the last time I saw him.” Points his thumb inside Patrick’s. Shakes his head now. “Tomorrow, is it?”
Yes, tomorrow. The funeral. I can’t say the words, knowing they’re followed by too much drama. The air’s moisture fills my eyes. I nod, tap his arm, trudge past. Patrick’s is lit. People inside laughing, toasting their future.
I’ll never understand how the world grinds on like it didn’t just lose one of its best.