My neighbor, that is.
I passed him in his usual spot in front of his building yesterday afternoon. The usual opener:
Him: "Hello, how are you?"
Me: "Good, and you?"
Usually at this juncture his response is "Not too bad," and some conversation about the weather or something ensues.
This time: "I've been better."
I could already tell from his voice and body language that something was a bit off this time. Still, I wasn't prepared for what he said next:
"My brother passed away this morning."
Apparently D (the guy I talk to, who stands) had gone out for a bit that morning, for coffee or one of his usual routines; came back forty-five minutes later to find his brother laid out flat on on the bathroom floor.
"I called 911, but there was nothing they could do. What can you do?"
He'd fallen, I take it. The way people do, especially once they reach a certain age. And I guess hit his head or something. And that was it.
8:30 that morning, i guess is when the coroner made his pronouncement. By 3:30 or so at the latest, they've all long gone, the ambulance, the coroner, the people with their red and yellow tape. Funeral arrangements are to come, i suppose. And meanwhile, here's D, back out standing in his usual post in front of his building. Because,
"What can you do?"
I don't know either, really.