On August 29, a friend died. His name was Andy. He often left comments here on The Moon using the name Andres until four or five years ago, when he stopped. I never understood why. We continued to communicate fairly frequently, but via email.
I thought of him as a friend although we only saw each other in person one time when he rode a bus to my mountaintop town, and we sat on the central plaza with cafecitos. I later joined him for lunch before driving him to the bus station to return to Uruapan, the city where he lived for 15 years about 35 miles southwest of here.
That was some years ago too.
Andy and I had lots in common. We were born in the same year. We graduated from high school in the same year. We were in the Air Force at the same time though in distant bases. We both moved to Mexico alone. I came in a plane. He came in his car, which was stolen about a week later. He never bought another one.
Andy didn’t have much money.
We both grew up in Florida. He became a social worker. I almost became a social worker too, surprisingly.
He had serious respiratory issues (COPD) due to chain-smoking for decades. He quashed the habit two years ago, but that was not soon enough because the Kung Flu shoved him over the edge.
A week before he died, he emailed me that he had awakened that morning feeling much better after days of a high fever and that he’d also had trouble breathing. He thought he was on the mend.
I asked if he’d had a covid test, and he said no, but he suspected that was the problem. He said that if he had not quit smoking two years ago, he would probably have died.
In the following week, I emailed him a couple of times on other matters and asking how he was doing. I received no reply. The week after that, I emailed again, and I received a reply from his email but from a Mexican friend who told me Andy had died. He was 76 years old.
Initially, I planned to end this post with a list of Gringos and Canucks I’ve known here, both in person and online, who have died since I moved to Mexico. I started to list them on a sheet of paper, and I was surprised. Were I to include them here with a few words about each, you would be reading nonstop until tomorrow.
Most, of course, were retirees like me. But I stopped working early at age 55, and most did not, so their time in Margaritaville was briefer than mine has been.
One day I’ll be on that list, but someone else will write it.
I hope Andy is doing okay.