My last post was about my friend, Jim, who didn’t like being photographed.
Jim died unexpectedly in his sleep yesterday morning.
We all say ‘unexpectedly’ about a friend’s death, but this truly was. We had lunch at our favorite coffee shop the afternoon before and had been out later that night for our usual Thursday night ‘writing workshop.’ We had a good time talking to each other and one of his favorite bartenders, Natasha.
Nothing seemed amiss. We parted happy company around 9:30. I got an email from him Friday morning at 5:20: ‘Very nice’, was all it said, referring to a couple picture I had emailed him, taken while we were out. I had taken one last picture for the series of him not liking to be photographed, not knowing, of course, that it would be the last. He had read my last post and was happy with it and, now, was truly into the small Instagram/Facebook series I had created.
Jim and I have been friends for close to, if not a little longer than, four years. I think I said three years before, but I’ve found pictures dating back to 2017. We would see each other often for lunch and dinner, but over the Covid year, after my regular morning coffee shop shut down, we started meeting every day at Aux Delices. The only mornings we didn’t see each others were those days where one of us had an early call or had too late of a night out.
On those days we didn’t see each other for breakfast we would be chatting along with another friend, Nagy, throughout the day.
He was good friends with my wife, Jane. My daughter, Elyse, he thought of as one of his own. We have different best friends throughout different parts of our lives and I’m glad to be able to say that he’s been my best friend these last few years.
A word about this post’s ‘featured image’ – copied below. I took it this morning where Jim and I usually met for coffee. The Panama hat he gave me about two months ago from his collection of hats and baseball caps – he let me know that it was an authentic Panama hat which, actually, are not from Panama, but from Ecuador. The sunglasses came from his kitchen counter – I picked them up on my way out of his apartment yesterday. I wanted them for two reason: first, I wanted to have something of his (I know, I already have the hat, but this was something still his); second, sunglasses, are a perfect metaphor for life and friendship: they can be precious, they can protect you, they need care, and they can be lost so unexpectedly and it’s upsetting.