Monday, July 04, 2022


As you would expect my apartment mate is at home today. She is emotionally fraught, because she is still processing the death of her youngest brother, a man a decade older than myself who was very dear to her. Funeral arrangements, the last set of clothing, pall bearers, the whole shebang. Her other siblings are doing their part, but the whole thing is stressful. Especially as she is also communicating with other parties. Many of his friends and associates by their missives are constantly driving home the loss.

I am not good at comforting.

The other night I was feeling blue, because I am not family, and will not ever be 'family'. She and I used to be boyfriend-girlfriend, but she never agreed to get hitched, and over a decade ago our relationship in that regard finally fell apart. We stayed friends and apartment mates, because you do not give up on someone you've known for much of your life and trust completely -- and there were also the stuffed critters to consider, both hers and mine -- which was stressful for a time because afterwards she found another fellow (a man whom she never allowed into her home, and after several years that relationship also ended). But being a very reserved and private person herself (as well diplomatic), I never had to deal with the shmo, and only met him one time.

Other than one of her brothers, whom I met once, her relatives aren't aware of me.
As far as they know, her "roommate" is an old college friend.
Which is completely accurate.

But this isn't about me. As a typical Waspy person, I am emotionally distant and seldom express any feeling other than a severe irritation at the world. She's a wreck at the moment, and I am no help. Just tense, because we're in the same space, and I am cognizant of my inability to do anything really constructive.

Besides, I know little about Chinese funerals. Admittedly it's quite a bit more than a fortnight ago, because I'm good at finding things on the internet, but not nearly enough. And I can't get involved, because I am not family, and questions would be asked.
I am not a relative, just an old friend.

So I'll just utter useless words of consolation, and sometime this afternoon escape for a few hours for something to eat, a cup of milk tea, and a long smoke away from it all.
Last week I smoked a pipe that came from an old associate who passed away a few months back, which I had restored several years ago before he bought it; yesterday I spent the entire afternoon cleaning up some pewter smokers accoutrements from a gentleman who returned from Hong Kong twenty plus years since, which his family finally decided to get rid of.

I have been thinking a lot about deceased people lately.

Once you pass thirty, there are a lot of them.

Helloooooo, younger individual, do you want to hang out with a depressing older person? It's refreshing! And educational.

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