Sunday, June 22, 2008
This is Davey. And me. Christmas. 195-something. Davey got a shiny new plastic machine gun. He shot me with it many times that day. But it was all right, because you can see by my arm band that I got a nursing kit, so I could patch my self up till kingdom come.
Davey lived next door. Being six months or so younger than me, I was of course FAR more mature. But he was still one of only two playmates I had till Michele finally moved in.
When we were about three, Davey bit me. My mother watched the entire incident from our kitchen window as she made our dirty breakfast dishes sparkling clean in her Playtex living gloves. Being normally tit for tat at that age, I bit Davey back. His jaw dropped in stunned surprise for just a little moment before he burst into tears and ran to tell his mommy. I went home. Mommy of Davey burst into my mom's kitchen and exploded with "Do you know what YOUR DAUGHTER did to my Davey?" To which my mother sweetly smiled and said, "Why yes. I saw the whole thing."
That was me and Davey. We'd play just fine until one of us would go nova on the other. Thank the Lord Michele moved in and I could move onto more mature play with Barbies. And stickerbomb wars.
Davey was always getting into trouble. When he was Wonderboy's age, maybe six months older, he lit their trash can on fire. The fire department had to send a truck, though I believe my dad had the fire out when they arrived. Davey got a very stern talking to. Though he did still play with matches.
I completely lost touch with Davey and his life more than 30 years ago. I heard that as a teenager he raced dirt bikes and was somewhat of a celebrity in those circles. Then I heard that he grew up to be a really nice man. Lost the speech impediment. Got married. Had kids.
Davey was the third child of four. With three sisters. It was one of his sisters who hurt me when I was seven. Another sister was a very close friend for a few years. They were a good Catholic family. Davey's mom died from emphysema many years ago and his dad died about 10 years later.
Michele's sister keeps up on the old neighborhood, and Michele and I talk often. She tells me the news of the old 'hood.
Davey died while I was on the beach last week.
He had a heart attack, and was taken to the hospital. At the hospital apparently he had a massive coronary and passed to glory.
Now just the three girls remain.
I didn't know him well enough any more to be really sad. Though his passing does make me sad. I think it has to do with being at or near the top of my own life's mountain. On top of so many people I know, my age or younger, dying in the last two years. I have to ask myself, "how many reality checks do you need young Skywalker?"
It shifts the meaning of things. All this death. It does.
Rest in peace, young Davey. I gotta go clean out some old storage. And keep patching myself up. Till kingdom come.
So to speak.