Wednesday, July 28, 2004

R.I.P. Good Guy

There is this little bagel café near where I work.  I often stop in there for salads and wrap sandwiches.  For the longest time, there was this young guy named Lester who worked there.  He was in his early twenties and a real flirt with the ladies.  This guy had the kind of charm that would make women blush and giggle.

I often spoke with him when I was in the café.  I found out that he had come to America from the Philippines some years ago and how his family was split between the two countries.  Sometime we talked about music; sometimes we just shot the breeze and other times nothing more than a pleasant greeting or nod.

Lester was one of the Good Guys.

***

I have not been to this café since the end of June, today I stopped in to pick up some lunch.

As I was standing at the counter to give my order I noticed a sign posted on the wall.  There was a picture of Lester; above his photo were the words; “We Will Miss You”. 

Beneath the photo was an obituary from the local paper.

Lester had been killed on July 5th.  A motorcycle accident.

He was twenty-two years old.

I could not believe this and had to read the obituary twice until it sank in.

For the first time today I learned his last name, and the name of the town he’d been born in, and the fact that he’d served a stint in the Army … all that life pressed into a few paragraphs in dark bold print in the local paper.

See ya, Lester, you made a hell of a great chicken and Swiss wrap, and I know that somewhere, someplace, you are still making the girls blush and giggle.

No comments: