Friday, July 30, 2004
A work colleague of mine died the other day.
The details are sketchy. Apparently, he didn’t show up for work one morning and police found him in his apartment dead. There are rumors, of course, that it was from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, or from a drug overdose. No one really knows for sure.
When a friend told me about this, I wasn’t even sure whom she was talking about. She tried to describe what he looked like, but I couldn’t quite place him. She told me if I were to see him, I would definitely know who he was. I thought about this all day. Someone who was here yesterday isn’t here today and won't be coming back tomorrow. And I didn’t know who it was.
It was a strange day. The mood was somber and everyone spoke in hushed tones, avoiding the reality of it. We were pretending it hadn’t happened, but it was so obvious that it had.
Later in the day, I was talking with another friend and he was able to describe our colleague to where I could connect the name with a face. To be honest, I didn’t really know the guy at all. We had an acknowledged smile here, a nod there, but I don’t even think I had even spoken a word to him… Until the day before he died.
I was walking down a hallway and he was standing there, mid-conversation with someone else. I said, “Excuse me,” and he moved aside to let me by. As I slipped past him, he joked, “Well, not today, maybe tomorrow,” as in he would excuse me tomorrow.
We shared a small laugh and I continued on my way, down the hallway and into tomorrow.
But for him, there won’t be a tomorrow.