Not just an acquaintance, but a friend of my youth. Someone who knew me well, but loved me anyway. His name was Bruce Caldera. He was only 53.
In my memory though he was 17 and just about the cutest boy in high school. I remember practically jumping into my locker when when he walked by. He was so cute and popular and I was just a new kid and a freshman to boot. But Bruce was friendly to everyone and quickly claimed my friendship and a piece of my heart.
Back then, I did a lot of theater. Both community theater in my home town and Dinner Theater on Ft. Knox. There was a group of us who were always together. Always doing shows, going to parties or just hanging out. I remember laughing. A lot.
The only place to go after 8 o'clock at night was Jerry's Restaurant. They offered "a bottomless pot of coffee". There would be 10 of us around a table drinking the same "bottomless Pot" half the night and into the morning. Laughing, gossiping, working on projects, plays and dreams. Those people were and are my dearest friends. The people who made me me. The people who laughed with me and cried with me and stuck by me even when I was being an idiot.
Last night I got a call from my friend Charlie. She was sitting at a table at Jerry's with Lance and Larry and some others...She told me there had been a car accident and Bruce was gone...and my friends, my sweetest and craziest and loveliest friends were there, together in the place that held so many memories for all of us, they were there remembering Bruce and missing him terribly.
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