Rocket Science

Sitting in Room 440 of a Marriott somewhere between Fort Worth and Denton Texas. Clear blue sky, stiff winds and the smell of one-hour old french toast on my room service tray.

My tummy aches. I don’t know if its because the two time zone difference between LA and Dallas screwed up my clock or if it is the background drone of CNN warbling the latest Trumpesque news that permeates my daily routine.

I don’t usually eat sweet breakfast so, clearly, things are off. But this time I think I know what it is.

Being 61, one of the metrics of my age is the passing of contemporaries and the passing of their parents, some of who shaped this author as the person I am today.

Today is the funeral of Glenn E. Stone, a childhood dad. I knew him as “dad”. He couldn’t have been more different from MY dad, but I spent so much time in the Stone kitchen having deep discussions over everything from political to hunting to America’s space program to the length of our hair.

Gene Stone, that son-of-a bitch. That short stocky guy, one of the most bullheaded persons I ever met. He looked like one of those actors in Apollo 13. White shirt, pocket protector with at least 5 pens poking out. Short spiked hair. Glasses.

He could smell me a block away when I used to wear some real musk that I had purchased at Spencer’s Gifts and the now defunct Cinderella City. I wore it on purpose to get his goat.

I have NO IDEA how I could look that guy straight in the eye and attempt to get my idealistic point, whatever it was at the time, across. I mean, he could look you square in the eye and DARE you to try.

And that is why I loved the guy. That is why I am in Dallas.

I can count on one hand my inner circle of friends. One is gone. The big C got him in his fifties. His father had beat him to heaven but everybody else in my inner circle was around at the time except MY parents who had passed away 18 months from each other.

The gauntlet of losing a best friends AND my parents within a short time was almost more than I could bare but that was a decade ago and today will be the second inner circle parent funeral in about a month.

It’s “that time”. The circle of life. At our age our calendars are pocked with weddings and funerals. Stories of the end for some and the beginning for others.

I hope I can keep up.

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