Sunday, July 7, 2019


This never happened before. I lost a lot a friends, an unusually high number of friends, but none of them left me anything in their will before now.

And when I look at the list of beneficiaries I see there are only three of us, the rest are relatives, and the other two friends were very much closer to Joseph than I was. I'm not even certain why I was included. And I was left considerably more than a few of his relatives. A grand-niece was left the most by far, and a nephew was left the least by far.

He also left 10% of his full estate to Angelheart in which he has no connection whatsoever beyond what I told him about it. Also a mutual friend who also is dead now designed their new kitchen. Those two things are his only connections to Angelheart that I know about.

So I'm thankful for that.

I asked my friends who make such donations, "Do you ever feel donation-burnout?" And they each admitted "Yes."

I told them I don't even claim my donations on taxes. I don't want to shift a portion to government by using them to lower my taxes. In my thinking that would remove the impact of my donation, or at least shift it to others.

Angelheart started without help from government, in many ways despite government, and it thrives beyond what government does.

For example, it's axiom that neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the postal couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds but there were days the mail was not delivered due to weather conditions and there was never a day that the Angelheart volunteers missed a single day delivering a hot meal. Though blizzard, through hail and flood, tornados, and hurricane and car trouble they always ALWAYS came through. Impressively. They deliver meals to terminal patients and they do that no matter what. They are self-driven well beyond the usual job dedication.

They blow me away.

When I recovered I volunteered there myself in their kitchen. It was easy to join. And all the people I worked with are the loveliest people you're likely to meet.

My work there ended when I relapsed but that's another whole story. I never went back. But I can never forget the experience and I tell everyone about the place. Including Joe.

The envelope came with the regular mail. By it's size I assumed another package from Federal Reserve about this being my last month on disability and next month regular retirement takes over. I'm anxious to see how this works out. A bit eager. I thought, "Oh poop. That crap again. Now what?"

The disability was designed to supplement Social Security to make the amount the same as I was making while working. The retirement turns out to be the maximum possible nearly equal to what I was earning. Plus the regular Social Security, so I think I'll be pulling in considerably more. But I'm not certain and that's why I'm anxious.

But the envelope was from lawyers and it is thick as a book and that made me think, "Oh poop. I'm being sued."

Instead it is a legal document to beneficiaries and just like the FRB papers only one little paragraph in the whole thing applies directly to me.

But I do see what other people I know have been up to.

I see how close these two other people were to Joe. It's right there in the numbers.

And I do know that Joe knew literally thousands of people, he was amazingly social, pure salesman in every sense down to the last molecule and final moment. So there are thousands of people, no exaggeration there, who are not listed as beneficiaries.

And that tells me those USDA prime steaks that we cooked here meant more to Joe than I knew.

Joe liked that sort of thing. There are restaurants that specialize in USDA prime immediately around the hotel where Joe stayed near the Tech Center while visiting friends in Denver. Del Frisco's for example. And even more near me in LoDo. We went to them all together but Joe told me the steaks that I bought from Oliver's and cooked in a cast-iron grill are better than those. I don't even have an outdoor grill. Just a grill pan. But I cook them like nobody's bizwax. As chefs do. Plus I make a salad and dressing that simply are not topped. Plus I am charming as H-E-Double magic wands. So Joe preferred doing that here rather than going out. Those evenings were more intimate without staff interference.

See, now on these trips to Denver I saw Joe only a few hours. That means he was spending much more time elsewhere. I was just one little thing punctuating his trips here. Other people got most his attention. But I'm in Joe's will and they are not.

One person I know administered the whole thing. And that explains why he wasn't accessible. His name is right there on the front page. He hasn't responded to anything I wrote for the last month to the point I started imagining him dead  himself and I was trying to accept that, and now I comprehend why he is so reclusive. He did all this work and is not beneficiary. There would be no point in that since he's so old himself, nearly Joe's age, and already more well off than Joe was. His role was pure work. And he's the emotional sort. He took trips with Joe all over the world. Constantly. This ordeal took its toll. He's forced to recount all the things they did together, relive all of that in Joe's absence but inside Joe's home, driving Joe's automobiles, and now all that is gone. It has to be devastating. He's forced to face his own mortality, and frankly, he's not up to the task without having it show.

Unlike myself.

He's older than me by more than a decade and a half but I am older than he is in that respect.

My new GP sent me to three different specialists. The last specialist last week I shared a bit of the drudgery of my health-story. He kept asking questions about the remote past and associated things that happened back then were salient to what he is asking me now.

He ceased his ceaseless chattering and listened intently, eyes wide open and unblinking mouth agape while I told him what happened and how this affected my family. My family was close due to moving so much, being herded together continuously, all that we know is each other, but this pulled us together even closer into one tight little bunch. I told him I've never seen my father cry until then. As I filled in the details that I don't usually share his intense attention signaled for me to keep going so I told him more than I usually tell people. I realized this sort of thing is why this guy does what he does. This is his reason for being.

Some people.

But sharing all that differentiates me from the guy who settled Joe's estate. He bottles everything up. It's not possible for him to share anything like that. He cannot do it.  His experiences are suffered alone. And that's why he is so unapproachable. So remote. So impossible.


ricpic said...

Why is a person who doesn't spill the beans "impossible?"

Chip Ahoy said...

He's impossible for making himself a complete recluse, for shutting down totally, not for not spilling the beans.

Chip Ahoy said...

Incidentally, that's changing a bit.

I kept it up. Continued writing as if he wasn't unresponsive. Then finally he wrote back and in a few sentences acknowledged. He told me he's been appreciating my stories all along.

So that's encouraging.

Care to hear something?

This happened before with somebody else. A friend of a friend.

He fell on hard times. Was arrested. Lived alone. Wore a ankle bracelet that prevented him from doing things.

I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote with no response at all.

I just didn't accept he was being that rude. It was something else. So I kept it up for months on end.

With zero response.

Then a year later I encountered him at a birthday party for that original friend. (Another who had died since then) He had other friends with him that day that had I never met. I asked them if they'd like to see a pop-up card I made for that birthday. The group of people enjoyed playing with it. (a hand that unfolded holding a box, wrapped as a present, more of a present-cage, and inside a bunch of crap like toys and bugs and random junk made out of paper. All that folded flat. It was cute).

During that, a young man and his wife approached me separately and said, "I can't tell you how much a pleasure it is to finally meet you. Duane told me quite a lot about you." Duane was the guy who was arrested and who withdrew until he straightened himself out. Most likely too embarrassed to respond. Apparently he really did appreciate me sticking with him and writing pleasantly even though he never showed it to me directly. Not once.

Now this second guy is similar but a much more serious mental/emotional case. The walls this guy puts up are quite incredible. Impenetrable. Most people give up.

So when somebody doesn't give up, that's appreciated. Even though they don't say it.