And so it goes

There wasn’t enough time.

Zeke was fifty three years old when his heart gave out and the rest of his life stopped happening. The news came to me in a phone call from my Aunt. She sped through the details in Spanish, going on for several minutes before she stopped to ask me what language she was speaking in.Β I told her it was alright, that I understood.

It’s just that, the most important part of this story is the part I will never understand. Because we never can, we’re not allowed to. Life is a horribly wretched circumstance, and it’s one to which we hold to dearly. And it always happens this way, always.

We hadn’t been close for too many years, disconnected by the miles and different lives and familial misunderstandings. None of it was personal, and yet I can’t help thinking that it becomes all too personal after it’s too damned late to do anything about the silence that existed between us.

I never called him after the separation from my cousin. Not even a simple text to let him know that I was there if he ever needed to talk. Then again, I became quite good at not being there for that side of my family, so really . . why would he have been immune?

It doesn’t matter a wit, not compared to the two beautiful children he left behind. Grown now, they possess the depth and passion of their father. And if nothing else can be retrieved for me, their lives become something I might understand with more familiarity now. Before something else becomes too late.

Me and the kids spent Saturday with this side of the family. We attended a celebration of his life. So many people shared their stories. He was loved for his quirks, his humor and his passions. He was an artist in the truest sense of the word. He loved music and math, friends and family and Kurt Vonnegut too.

I remember things about him that have no blessed Shakespeare to them. They are simple things that have loosed themselves inside my mind over the last couple weeks, since I first received the news of his death. Things like his love of the Talking Heads and Devo. And the ad he did for Absolut vodka. And how he was an avowed liberal who loved debating; not yelling or screaming, but actual discussion. And how he just didn’t get sports, at all. And how he got books, and loved them. And how he had theories . . on everything.Β And how he folded his arms and gave you his undivided attention when he spoke to you. And his hugs. God, I can close my eyes right now and I can feel his hugs.

And if I could be granted five minutes with the man, I might ask that it be one long hug.

The memory that keeps prevailing over the last couple weeks, it’s twenty eight years removed. It was the day Zeke married my cousin Yvette. They wed in a nondenominational church near the Trade Center. Eleven years later, Zeke was in those Towers when the first plane hit. He made it downstairs and watched as the second plane crashed into the South Tower. And then he ran like hell, as fast and as far as his legs could take him.

But he never made it out of there, I don’t believe. He lost his job when the company he worked for folded after the attacks. He busted his ass to get back, but he never really could get back what was lost. Mentally and spiritually, I think he struggled even more.

Maybe that’s why I think back to his wedding day. The bride, so beautiful in white, and Zeke with his trademark black suit and tie. Two beautiful kids who were going to live forever, in a city that was always going to be the magical iteration of Runyon and Warhol and pride dressed in the cursive of stardust.

And so it goes . . .

70 thoughts on “And so it goes

  1. Dearest Marco,

    My vision blurred from the first paragraph, the first line.

    You know my situation., You know some of my story. Mick was 50, 51 by the end. At least Zeke didn’t end up in some stupid coma, giving a false sense of hope that things will turn out differently. I will not make this comment about me at all.

    I love your descriptions of what made Zeke, Zeke. Because you know what? In the end, I think that’s what we all hope for. That our life on this earth touched people in some positive way, no matter how much time we do spend amongst the living. Never mind the distance in time and miles. It doesn’t matter at all, in the long run. We all, well, those of us who are not narcissistic, understand that life sometimes gets in the way. And that’s okay.

    Your love for him shines through on this post. The love others had for him were spoken in the stories they told. That, for me, is the best part of death. We can’t avoid it. How we live our live is what will come through when it’s our time to go.

    Long hugs and love,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      There is so much more I could have added to this post. But they were silly little things I am plenty fine with keeping to myself. Precious like that, I can sip on ’em when I feel like it.
      And no, SHARE Mick! Because it happened that he was taken much too soon as well. And because the stories you tell, well . . they make me want to hug him too. And you ARE his story, and you are a beautiful moving tribute to what he was all about. And no . . don’t ever apologize for interjecting Mick. He can crash any party. Always. Except one that involves that Lucie chick . . fuck her.
      And you’re right . . of course. The miles and the misunderstandings and all the rest, they do not matter as much as the impression someone leaves on you. And Zeke, well, I didn’t realize just how much of an impression he did leave on me. Like for one thing, I always thought the Talking Heads blew until I met him. And then it was like . . I understood!
      He was loved for so many things. He will be missed for all of those things.

      Long hugs and peace and love


      Liked by 1 person

      • B,
        Of course you have to keep some to yourself. It’s only natural.
        And what I meant was, I would never hijack YOUR post to make it about ME. Don’t you worry… I will interject little bits at appropriate times. Like I did…
        And yeah. Fuck her.
        It’s so often the case. We involuntarily take certain things/people for granted because we think we’ll have time. That’s one thing I learned… Time is precious. We always learn that one the hard way. Must be The Universe’s official plan… nothing that comes easy is worthwhile.
        A person who is well-loved is a good person.
        Lotsa love,

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have this stone I collected from the memorial on Saturday. It was one that Zeke had collected during one of his hiking expeditions. I’ve been carrying it with me at certain times. Not sure what to do with it, but to carry it.
          I don’t see you as that kind of person, at all. You’re too damned tough and no nonsense. As Kenny Rogers would say, you know when to hold ’em and you know when to fold the laundry. Okay . . that last part was an ode to single mama.
          I don’t know that it’s the people we take for granted so much as the idea that we will always have time.
          And we all should know better, present company included.
          Good people are the only ones allowed onto my party bus in the hereafter . . .

          Love and hockey sticks

          Liked by 1 person

          • That is cool. Use it when you need it. No one needs to know the why but you.
            Bah… I am the first to say I took Mick for granted in so many ways. Every time I realise another, I shed a tear with an apology sent out. We are human. I ain’t touching that laundry shit comment…
            Well… as George Ezra says:

            Love and Living

            Liked by 1 person

          • So the stone did me no use on Sunday morning as we got beat more soundly than a team of bartenders in a soccer friendly. But hey . . maybe the stone DID work, because I didn’t hurt myself. Positive spins . . yanno?
            And I am sure Mick is up there somewhere saying, “Aw woman, quit your griping! Have a Coke!” Just saying . . .
            You have a thing for this Ezra fellow, you know that . . .


          • Sooo…it didn’t work because you were not on your own. Ah. But yes, no injury is good… Silver linings… does that mean a clean face soon?
            Me? Gripe? Whatchu talking about? ‘Sides… never dug Coke…
            Have you hear his voice? Mmmm so deep in one so young…

            Liked by 1 person

          • Clean face soon? How about already? LOL. My playoff hockey beard sleeps with the fishes.
            What? Never ever dug Coke? But it goes so well with Mickey D’s! πŸ˜‰

            It’s NOT his voice, I tell you!


          • Wanna see!!
            You may laugh, but the only time I tolerate it is in those mini glass bottles. Somehow it tastes better.
            I’m just not a soft drink drinker… Do NOT get me started on that crap…

            Liked by 1 person

          • Okie, I’ll send you one manana. And not in a mini glass bottle either.

            So it’s a total and complete no to Mickey D’s . . I’m guessing.


          • I actually could. Couple rules. I don’t do sliders. I mean, why in the hell would I quit before I get the full monty? Go big or go home!
            And for another, I do simple burgers with more involved flavor partners. So the burgers get the basics- S and P and TLC. But the rest of the lineup, chyeah.

            Liked by 1 person

          • What’s the point of a slider? A bite, maybe 2 and that’s it? Pffft…
            Hmmm…. well then… Will have to set up some kind of invite…

            Liked by 1 person

  2. My dearest and darling Marco,
    I hate to sound either derivative, trite, or even redundant, I am certainly not trying to do so. This was just totally brilliant. I’ve said this before, too, that as Maurice Blanchot argues, writing begins with the look/regard of Orpheus, and that gaze is in this piece. I am, again, truly, amazed. This is true writing, and neither just a journal entry, nor an exercise in psycho-babble, of which literature in Occident is replete.

    It is necessary for me to evoke the following: I am by no means a literary expert, it is something that I have studied for some time and it does interest me a great deal. When one writes I am always in awe, and I used to work for a novelist in France, Paule Constant, I know the havoc. I was even in a novel for which she won the Prix Goncourt, I was the homosexual secretary with no morals. This all said, literature has been my life, is my life, and always be my life, and when I find writing that is the real stuff, I like to remark on it. Alors . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful piece for so many reasons. I love the memory of Zeke that you hold on to, while acknowledging some of the pain and trauma that followed. These are the realities of life.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Marc,.. how sad… My heart goes out to you. To think he escaped on that fateful day but the consequences that followed were too much. Dont blame yourself too much for not keeping in touch, we do the best we can at the time. When my Mum died I saw a lot of things I wish I had done differently but there was also a reason I did those things. Life is tough and unfortunately with all the bends in the road sometimes its just too far to see down them. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deb,

      I don’t blame myself. But Zeke’s passing was yet another reminder that time doesn’t play, it just moves . . like water.
      My concern is his wife, because they were separated and I know how that ‘in-between’ time feels since I am divorced myself. It’s full of so many questions and doubts about the future. And she is such a beautiful woman- inside and out- who is now a single mother. And the void Zeke leaves, it’s huge. He was a good man and a great father.
      I take the best of my memories with me now, and I try to learn something from it. Time keeps moving . . .

      Thank you for this comment Deb.

      Peace and love

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve been randomly visiting an old site just to get a couple laughs and revisit some pretty awesome stories from my old pal Cayman the last couple of months just to see if he was gonna pop up. I never caught his farewell post. I thought he had disappeared like many do in this world. Circle of life and all that, but then I discovered the see-you-later note. And now I have found this beautiful site with this amazing tribute to someone who’s worth a five-minute hug and the unlocking of Kodak moments from a wedding. I’m glad that I’ve discovered this blog, but sorry to have found you with a broken heart because of this loss. Sending you good vibes and sunshine … all the way from Cali.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cali!

      Well look who the cool cat dragged in! Yanno . . I was initially going to make that post on Drinks a static page so that people would know where I got to. But then I thought, it ain’t my style. I dig just letting things happen, let them be as they be. I am very much a believer in following your intuition, and mine said to just let Cayman be and get on with something here. There were reasons, good ones, for that . . but mostly it was just a gut feeling. Same goes for visiting blogs I knew and loved at Drinks. I didn’t want peeps to feel obligated to follow me. Sorryless has been a rebirth for me as far as blogging is concerned. And it’s only getting better.
      So now that Guat has arrived at my new digs, we are going to have things to how the Lakers might kidnap Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant so that Northern Cali doesn’t get to rule the seven kingdoms of the association forever.
      It’s great to see a familiar face. Welcome to the party Guat!

      Peace and Pat Riley

      Liked by 1 person

      • Peace and Pat Riley indeed!!!! I’m liking your new digs, whatever your makeover may be your stories always rock! I’m glad to see you here and glad to check out your new project. The playoffs have been pretty sweet to watch. I don’t mind Golden State picking up a few trophies … They were at the bottom for years while I was growing up πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • As you well know, Riles has ALWAYS been my man crush . . and I ain’t the least bit insecure in saying it. Followed him from LA to NY (And I HATE the Knicks) to Miami.
          Heck, I would have followed him anywhere . . . even Boston!
          And yes to the Dubs. They existed in the hinterlands for too many years. I don’t remember the Rick Barry title year, but they’ve had some great players in their history- Mitch Richmond, Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin and a dude named Wilt. But they never had any sustained success and they always seemed to play second fiddle to the Lakers, until now.
          For some reason, I will never forget Sleep Floyd dropping 50 on the Lakers in a playoff game back in the Magic years . . .
          But yes, they are enjoyable to watch and I LOVE KD very much. He’s my new Pat Riley! lol . . .


          • Ha! KD Yeah a lot of people have the KD love πŸ™‚ Although I have yet to find my new Pat Riley. I totally remember Richmond, Hardaway, and Mullin. Mullin was on one of the Dreams Teams, no? Watched them a lot on while I lived up north a couple of years ago and the seats were wayyyyyyyyy cheap. I imagine the prices are on the rise now, though πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 1 person

          • I think KD love waned initially after he signed with Golden State, just because people were like . . “No! Not another super team!” lol. And then he got kind of ornery there for a tad. But he’s back! Hopefully . . . the nice KD with the bad . . BAD game!


    • Tails,

      There’s the hope that we carry, indeed. I see them at my son’s wedding next month and then again at a cousin’s wedding in the fall. And we move on, hopefully, in a closer and more grateful way.

      Liked by 1 person

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