He was just fine on Christmas,
telling me numerous stories about people I was not always familiar with,
but were entertaining nonetheless.
He had a great delivery for stories.

[He] called my Dad to leave him a phone message as a joke
and then we said our goodbyes,
with him telling me to call anytime and come visit –
as he always told me.

As I left I was having trouble with the dog’s locked fence.
He told me not to worry about it.

And I left.
Next time I saw him he was in a coffin.

– For more in this series and the story behind it, see 13 years