RIP Jimmy

Just found out my Godfather who I haven’t seen for six or seven years died. Was told he was suffering from depression after losing his job at the race track and went back to the bottle. He drank himself to death over a couple of a days in his condo in Florida. A bottle of vodka a day was the prescription.

He was the picture of health before that, and for a man in his 60s he looked like he was in his 40s on a good day. He always had a kind word, and after 9/11 he saved up some money to make a trip to “the pit.” He was so moved by the events of that day he felt like he needed to see it out of respect he told me.

We were never close, but we had a bond. I still remember him carrying me on his shoulders when I was a kid–doesn’t get stronger than that. He left for Florida as many folks from Brooklyn do when they get a taste of the real sun. The grind, gray, and the cold of New York City can get to you once you’ve tasted the green and blue of Florida–or California for that matter. We were similar in that way I guess.

My mom told me he that Jimmy gave up after losing his job and the condo payments mounted. He tried to sell the Florida condo, but the real estate market down there went bad just as quick as it went good. You hear about the victims of the real estate bust in the Wall Street Journal all the time, but it’s odd when it’s someone you know. “Just move out and get a smaller place” is common refrain from the pundits on the cable news business channel. However, a man losing his home is left with a hole in their pride, and that hole can suck you in.

For Jimmy losing the place and the job started the spiral. He got back on the sauce, which he was off for decades, and he told his girlfriend “I’m too old to start over.” He was in his 60s and had 20 great years left. The sadness and depression took the twenty.

RIP Jimmy, I’ll see you at the track on the other side–we’ll have a club soda.

All the lonely people.
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people.
Where do they all belong?

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