Sometimes in life, you happen upon a character that is so full of life that they seem to splash over, brimful. Bursting at the seams, their personality just oozes out of their pores. That's what I always thought of George. I got a call today from Rosa that George is in the hospital for cirrhosis of the liver. Rosa had been over to the shopping center to hang out and overheard this bit of gossip.
"Are you going to see him?" Rosa asked me on the second time we had talked today.
"I am going this afternoon," I replied, worried about my old friend.
I hung up the phone and thought about all the moments I had spent down at the shopping center with George. He would be drinking his ice beer, cigar in hand, as a great big toothy grin would form on his face. "What up, my brotha," he would jubilantly say.
The sad thing was that I had to choose between sobriety and my friend, George. He was an irascible alcoholic whose lifestyle I always envied and wanted to emulate. He got to spend carefree days driving around as he drank his beer, smoked his cigars, and delivered the patrons of his fly-by-night taxi service. It was just too tempting for this then newly sober drunk. I got to where I spent less and less time down at the shopping center, and soon George no longer called. His harsh opinion was that I was mixed up in the religious cult that was Alcoholics Anonymous.
I don't know how much time my friend has left, but I plan on spending some of it with him. Bygones be bygones. It is just a shame I didn't get to know my friend sober. Imagine the possibilities. George's spirit is unquenchable though. I wouldn't doubt he somehow beats this next obstacle confronting him. I'd even double down on the bet. George always was a gamblin' man.