Every so often, someone you know dies. Yesterday I thought I saw a picture of a former bookstore coworker in the funeral announcements section of the newspaper, and I was right. He was 60, not that young, but not that old, either.
I didn't know him that well, and it's been a long time, so it's not like I can muster the grief that goes along with losing a dear loved one. And the usual platitudes about how life is short and you never know and live life to the fullest are used so often that they lose their meaning.
For me I guess it's just a feeling of surprise. The old guard at the bookstore, the dudes who chose to make selling books their vocation, it was like they were Mt. Rushmore or the Statue of Liberty or something. Something had at one point put them there, but so long ago that it was like they had always been there. And you just assume they always will be.
But they won't. No one knows what will happen eventually to the rock and metal faced monuments. They outlast us, but not forever. You think you can count on certain things but you can't, not always.
I don't know what I'm trying to get at here. Someone I knew died, that's all I'm trying to say. It feels more significant than a regular day.