I pull up beside a sports bar and a middle aged man walks up to my car. He opens the back door and asks if it’s ok that he sit up front or if he should stay in back. I politely nod and he climbs in beside me.
After the typical exchange of “how are you”, the conversation grows silent and we sit in peace while the radio bumps to whatever the hit pop song is right now.
“John” tells me that he plays darts. He’s been to three competitions in Las Vegas and has done quite well. He embellishes tales about victories over beautiful young Russian women and doing shots with a celebrity’s bodyguards.
John also tells me about his friend, “Jack”, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in July 2010 despite having never smoked in his life. He was given one year to live. John was about to go to another competition in Vegas accompanied by his girlfriend, but at the last minute she suggested that Jack take her spot.
Together they went for one week and John covered all of the costs. Jack had matching shirts printed about his diagnosis and about how John was such a good friend. A reporter took notice and did a spread about them in a magazine.
John came second in the competition then he and Jack went back to their lives. One day in August, John received a call from Jack’s family that he wasn’t doing well.
Anyone who knows me knows that by this point I’m low-key crying.
The morning he set out to go to Jack’s family home, he was notified that the magazine had been published. He quickly bought a few copies and together they read through the story. Later that day, Jack passed.
No more low-key crying, I’m bawling.
We reach the destination, John goes home. I decide that only ice cream can comfort me right now. I buy a McFlurry and log out of Uber for a bit. Then funny drunk people lift my spirits.
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