The rain poured down quite heavily this morning as I was sleeping, it was raining hard enough that I wondered if there was to be flooding when I headed out to work. It stopped for a while when I walked to the bus stop and held off as I made my way to the cigar shack.
Things are improving at the cigar shack, the new regime isn’t fully installed yet but I assured Calvin that I was up for the task of working underneath him. I don’t want to see him fail and will do my utmost to support him.
The day started out easily enough despite working with everyone’s favorite cipher the brain dead Bradley. Calvin was in a meeting with Marcus in the man cave as I set about starting up my duties. I spoke with Bill a few times and was surprised to get his call about an hour later.
He had some sad news. Our friend Hyman gross had passed away. The information was sketchy, gather from Hyman’s nephew. Apparently Hyman died either en route to the Jewish Home in East Harlem where Hyman was going for rehab for his broken ankle, or once he was actually placed in the home. It was a shock, though we knew it was going to happen sooner or later.
Hyman was about 84 years old, his heart was broken since his companion Joan died in 2009 and he was very lonely. Bill and I could only fill that void so much, and the moments when Hyman was alone, waking up almost every night at 3AM. He told me sometimes he felt so alone that he would call the suicide hotline. He never went that far, but I’m sure the idea was there.
I feel bad, and wish I could have done more for him. I also wish he didn’t hit my buttons so much that I would tell him how upset he was making me.
I am glad that I was able to see him in the hospital and bring him the New York Times. I am also glad that he was able to see Bill perform in 2 plays. And I am happy to have been able to take him to what turned out to be his last Thanksgiving dinner at the Waldorf Astoria with Bill.
I tried to get Hyman to write his life story down, he had quite a few tales to tell. Being cruised by Rex Harrison was just one of the stories.
At the end of the night a vendor came to the cigar shack with a bottle of champagne to toast Calvin and his promotion. I was asked to sit in and I gladly did, enjoying a cigar and a flute of the bubbly. Calvin turned to me and asked how I was doing since I told him about Hyman’s passing.
I told him I regretted not being able to say good bye and Calvin understood. I then asked if I could make a toast to the memory of Hyman and Calvin and the vendor and I clinked glasses in Hyman’s memory. It was nice. Calvin was able to get a ride home with the vendor and I closed the store, making my way to the subway.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Hyman, how he was surprised that I would walk from the cigar shack to the bus terminal in minutes (before my knee got jacked up of course) and be able to catch that 9:42 Willow Avenue bus with him.
He always brightened up when he saw me and I was usually tired and grouchy by then. Still I would sit and talk with him. The bus drivers knew Hyman and tonight when I told the bus driver what happened to Hyman, he was visibly saddened.
I am sad to see him go, and I hope he is happy somewhere out there in the universe, hopefully with Joan. Rest in peace, Hyman Gross.