Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Punky got Punk’d, by Pancreatitis 

I don't know if last week you felt a strange disturbance in the force, or an inexplicable heaviness of the heart, but Punky passed away while I was gone. The morning he died he was drinking with one of his friends in the park, as is his daily routine. His friend went to go buy another 40 to share and when he returned Punky appeared to be napping. When his friend tried to shake Punky awake he noticed that Punky was a little cool to the touch. An autopsy revealed that Punky had died of alcohol related pancreatitis.

Punky has not been at the peak of health lately. His extremities were swollen from edema, an affliction that must have been particular vexing for someone as vain as Punky. I noticed he wasn't adorning himself with glittery objects with the same flair, or smashing heavy glass liquor bottles into the faces of his comrades with the same spirit, or mugging German tourists with the same predatory zeal. A few weeks ago a man left his bike unlocked outside the library for a good hour without it being stolen, which should have been an omen for me. The homeless community was quite affected by his death and even discussed holding a candlelight vigil but I think most of them just got drunk instead. I will say this for Punky, even though he was dangerously volatile and had probably broken a liquor bottle over the faces of each one of them, he had enough charm that these victims were generally distraught over his passing.

So pour a little bit of your next 40 on the ground for him. Resquiat in pacem , Punky.

Another memento mori…

A disconcerting event at the summer camp reunion was seeing the name of a girl who was about five years older than I was on the list of attendees. This was disturbing because I had heard that she died in a car accident a while back. I became even more bewildered when I saw a blonde woman who looked vaguely similar to her wandering around with her name tag on. I thought for a moment that maybe I had misheard that she had died, that it was all a terrible, out of control false rumor, which actually happened with a guy I went to college with. Someone said that he had disappeared in Thailand and that he had been missing for years and the worst was assumed. I was sad and I mourned for him and accepted his death as a fact but then at a reunion I found out that and that he was just fine and married with children and that he had never once been to Thailand in his life. I thought that maybe this was the case with the girl. I was also reminded of how in some of my dreams dead people I knew will make a guest appearance. In those particular dreams I will carry on conversations with them that I usually wrap up with something like, "I'm so glad that we got to have this talk, because I thought you were dead." These dreams put me in a melancholy mood that lasts the rest of the next day, so I don't particularly enjoy them, and seeing the whole situation at camp was giving me the same creepy feeling. Anyway, it turns out that the girl’s brother, who had also attended the camp, had married a woman with the exact same first name and brought her to the reunion. To confuse matters further, she bore a slight physical resemblance to her deceased sister-in-law, and so it freaked a lot of people out.

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