At first I noticed a yard crew over at Jim’s house cutting his grass and trimming the bushes. That’s weird. Jim always did his own yard work. I know because he’s our neighbor right across the street and he was out there a lot. He lived alone.

I always thought it was impressive because Jim had a serious limp. He always used two arm-attached crutches to move around. It didn’t seem to slow him down much. I don’t know all the exact details, but it was some accident quite a long time ago that resulted in rather big chunks of missing flesh from his leg and butt. He pulled down his pants and showed me right in the street one time.

He also told me that he climbed South Sister one time, post-accident, which is very badass. He drove a big orange Harley around in the warm months. He was always nice to all three of us, remembering all our names and offering little jokes and advice. We talked in the driveway once a month or so. He was always rocking classic rock music in the garage. He put up huge holiday light displays that Ruby loved. I don’t think I’ll do it this year, he said back in November. But then he did.

Still hadn’t seen Jim in a while. The house looked fairly buttoned up. Then one day a big moving box showed up in the driveway and there were people I didn’t recognize milling around. Maybe some new owners? We weren’t exactly tight friends, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he up and moved without telling us his plans. It was a pretty big house for one dude. I was gonna walk over there and talk to them, but I didn’t get around to it. Then a big dumpster showed up right next to it, and the people filled it up. I saw Jim’s truck in the garage at that point, which felt like a very bad sign. Then everything was gone.

Without anyone direct to ask, we texted the other neighbors who had known him longer. They texted Jim to see what’s up, but no response.

Turns out Jim had died, way back in April. We just had no idea.

I learned from the obit that he actually had six kids, but lost one of them as well as his partner before his own death. Pretty rough go, that, so I’m happy he looked like he was making the most out of life right up until the end.

Oh, and I write “Jim” because his actual name was Dennis. Somehow I got it in my mind his name was Jim and I called him fuckin’ Jim right to his face for years and he never said anything. 😬. Sorry buddy. RIP.

One response to ““Jim””

  1. “Jim” sounds like a good dude. Sounds like he made the best of life. That’s all we can hope for. R.I.P Dennis.

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