ROCKY’S BIG DAY
Life is indeed a finite proposition. I mean hell, you can evade taxes but the grim reaper is a tenacious buggar. Lord or Madame Reaper take us when they’re ready, with little regard for our social calendar or if we are penciled in for cocktails next thursday afternoon. Quite often, we are shocked or surprised at the retrieval of a soul and respond accordingly. The condolence, “the lord moves in strange ways,” is usually reserved for when your mother-in-law falls victim to a grand piano from four floors up, on top of her. Accompanied with a wave, while backing out of the driveway, to play the back nine with a pal tends to emphasize your pain. There are instances of course when notice is given.
Rocky received the memo of his impending doom. His days were numbered and on the twenty second of the month, three weeks, he would be no more. It was a bucket list situation of sorts but he found he hadn’t a bucket. Faced with his own mortality, his mind raced against the clock and acknowledged, women in fact, walked the streets of town he hadn’t slept with. His attitude and priorities, would be a surprise for anyone not knowing Rocky but easily understood by those that did. “Caution be damned.” Actually, Rocky had never been cautious in his life but considered doubling down on his bar tabs all over town before meeting his maker, certainly a ‘devil may care,’ gesture. His already questionable behavior with women was emboldened as not only a political statement, but a ‘what of it,’ declaration. He tried his ‘what of it’ stratagem with the corner tavern waitress, grabbing a handful of crotch, with a come hither sparkle in his eye. Wanda, the lucky recipient, not only knocked out Rocky’s sparkle but three teeth for good measure and his hither didn’t fare well either.
Rocky, bought drinks, talked trash and generally allowed his mouth to write checks for the next month, his ass would never have to cash. I walked into the tavern and saw him sitting at the bar. “What’s up Rocky?” “Hey dude, what’s happenin’ man.” We shot the bull for awhile and it was clear Rocky had logged several hours at the trough, before I arrived. He said he had been drinkin’ on the cuff. “Dude, I’m takin’ the trip in a few days.” “Cool Rock, you deserve a trip.” He downed another shot of tequila and slammed the empty shot glass on the counter. “Not a trip dude, the trip. Dude, I’m dyin’ next Wednesday.” Rocky had never been the sharpest knife in the drawer but I never imagined him hurting himself. He pulled a crumpled envelope out of his jean’s pocket and slid it across the bar to me. I used the bar napkin my beer was sitting on and wiped pizza sauce off the envelope. I took the letter out and read it. “This says the utility company’s turnin’ your lights out Wednesday, Rocky. “Dude, they’re turnin’ my lights out and I’m gonna die?” “You’re not gonna die Rock, you’re not gonna die unless someone you borrowed money from gets a clear shot at your sorry ass.”