Deleting the Dead
I went through my smartphone contacts, this morning. I was surprised by how many people I’ve been friends with over the years. I even still have many names and the phone numbers of people who are no longer among us.
Rich Korbin. Gavin Smith. Doyle Brunson. Frank Brabec. Monte Christiansen. Gary Thompson. Paul Berkowitz. David Lawful. Norm McDonald. Mike Sexton. Layne Flack. Howard “Tahoe” Andrew. My grandmother. My aunt. A neighbor. And more. Plus, lots of fine people you probably don’t know who succumbed to age and illness and the inevitability that awaits us all.
I know those numbers will fade away into oblivion. When I dial them now, there is no familiar voice on the other end. No laughter when they answer and call out my name. Only a dial tone, a wrong number, or an error message.
But they will remain with me, for at least for a little while longer. Maybe another month, or another year. I don’t know. I guess, I just don’t want to let them go. I don’t want to let go of people Ive loved and lose the memories they gifted me. When I scroll and randomly come across a name, even if they are gone, it’s a subtle reminder. Their bodies may have died, but they remain alive in my universe, until I hit the delete button.
In an odd way that I cannot explain, they remain with me here and now. My pause triggers a remembrance. Their memory brings a smile.