(Haven't been around to comment on others' blogs; it's been a rough couple of days. I'll get there.)
Last Geezer Standing
Somehow, when he stops at the bookstore cafe on Saturday morning, he thinks he senses a shift among the geezers that gather there weekly for coffee and comraderie.
Early Friday morning he'd received a call from the younger sister of his oldest friend in the world, informing him that his friend was no longer actually in the world; had died earlier that very morning, awaiting transport from the hospital so that he could die at home.
This morning some of the clannish crew of geezers had looked over at him, writing alone at his usual table (secretly writing about them, as usual) with different, less indifferent eyes, as if detecting the invisible radiation of his loss. Three of them had nodded and smiled--two more than usual--and one of them, the oldest, had clearly mistaken him for one of their absent members and looked around at his buddies, wondering why no one was pulling up an empty chair.
He'd written a page or two and, while he wrote, the geezers started sharing what was ahead of them for the rest of the day, slipping on their coats and looking around to be sure they weren't leaving behind their glasses, then stepping out into their individual Decembers one or two at a time, pledging to meet again next Saturday.
When they were all gone, even though the shop remained pretty busy, he felt totally abandoned.