For Mr. Grubenman

You were such a warm old man. Easy to talk to and laugh with despite the oxygen spurting into your nose every few seconds with a pfff (I miss your noise). That's rare in a place old men typically don't want to be – there's a lot of grouch in the waiting room but it never got to you. You were there, once weekly for years with the same grin and gentle, reaching heart.

And. They told me you died, except they used 'expired', like you were just a canned something they dug out from the back of the pantry; I'm finally crying about it - I'm so guilty. It wasn't real until Wednesday, when you didn't shuffle in, waving at me.

You were part of my week, my routine, my therapy. There's such a disconnect in this world of sterile, plastic wrapped everything, and it's hard to notice it until you lose the one tether you let noose your heart.

I'll miss you like I didn't know I could. You were so constant, but I guess we all have to supernova someday - you are stellar stardust now, still warm.