Hurricane Bob

A live oak tree broken by Tropical Storm Hermine.

The last time I saw Bob he was pouring a bottle of water over his head. He’d been running. In his seventies, he ran everyday. I don’t know how far. I don’t run, so any distance is too much for me.

I met him at the park. Several years ago, I missed a few months. When I came back, he stopped mid-stride to ask where I’d been. I told him about the vertigo. He congratulated me on making a comeback. He often asked about my kids or talked to my dog, who reminded him of a schnauzer he once loved. We sparred gently over politics and shared Spurs victories. He was a guy I knew in passing, a part of my daily routine.

Last week, Tropical Storm Hermine blew through, blowing down hundred-year-old oak trees and flooding the streets. When the sky cleared and the water receded, I went to the park. The regulars were there–walking dogs, jogging, talking about the storm. That’s how I heard about Bob’s death.

I didn’t know him well. I’d never seen him outside of his morning run, but talking to Bob made a difference. I’ll miss his friendly face.

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