Autopsy

This morning I finally received the autopsy report. The attached letter read “It is unfortunate that it took so long, but there have been articles in the local press about the backlog in the courts and Medical Examiner’s office, so apparently this has been an issue for many people.”  I am grateful to the embassy staff for their perseverance of effort in securing this document.

While my Spanish skills are poor, I can read it enough to know that the cause of death was the “toxic effect of carbon monoxide.” 

Continue reading “Autopsy”

Patrick’s California Memorial

In late June 2017, Abby, Julie and Rui visited California. In addition to the usual fun-for-kids stuff like Disneyland, horseback riding (three times, including once up to the Hollywood sign), going to the beach, and checking out the stars on Hollywood Blvd, we were able to visit with Julie’s brother, explore San Francisco, and go see Abby’s Aunt Gretchen at her house in the mountains near Yosemite.

On the last day of their visit, the four of us held a brief memorial service for Patrick in my back yard. Here’s a transcript of that service.

Continue reading “Patrick’s California Memorial”

Canticle

(Memory is many long mirrors)
Corridor mirrors reflecting doors
Quietly opening
                        and then
Noiselessly closing,
Letting wet hats and faces
In from the rain.

(Memory is everything
            Silently
            Forever
            Occurring in mirrors)
Closet doors open;
Closet mirrors twist a smile and face
With a great arm telescoped to the knob.

A hundred facets trace
Light shooting back into the prismed dark
To catch and place
Hall mirrors over and over showing
Faces sadly bending under hats into the rain.

 - Gay Street, Greenwich Village, 1960

When in 1960 I don’t know, so arbitrarily setting it to New Year’s Day.

You Coulda Been a Hero

Patrick liked the writing style in this letter from Gretchen, as did I, though it was painful for him to read. Some references have been edited at my sister’s request.

WARNING: Sensitive readers may be offended by this letter’s foul language or the reality of the tale itself.

CHAPTER ONE

You pegged Pedro dead to rights, when I called him a neanderthal. You said “no, cro-magnon, he wouldn’t eat his own children, but he would eat anything else.”

But at least he noticed I was there. Which was more than could said for you … during the important bits.

By the time we got hauled out of the 2nd orphanage, (the BEST SETUP EVER, lemme tell you) I didn’t even know who was doing the hauling. They SAID … but for all I knew, she could have been the Fucking Tooth Fairy, rumored to exist but rarely seen, since you had to believe it first.

Or the rare triangle-spotted ocelot. Continue reading “You Coulda Been a Hero”

Real Kill

Here’s a long autobiographical story by Patrick about his time in Missouri. I found two versions, one from 2011 and another from 2013. I spent a couple of hours editing the latter (mostly typos and formatting) and am posting the result here.


The airlines wouldn’t let us fly, so Mari and I returned to the States from Holland on the S.S. Rotterdam.  Mari was in a stupor induced by Thorazine, little red capsules that she had to pop two or three times a day.  It seemed pretty crazy to me that she could travel by ocean liner, but not airliner.  Seven days, if I remember correctly, with nothing but sea in all directions.  She could fall or jump.  On a plane, I’m pretty sure I could have kept her in her seat for a few hours, and anyway what harm could she have done?

A friend met us at the dock in New York and took us to his apartment in Freeport until we figured out how to get to Missouri.  I had sold my car before expatriating, or so I thought, two years before. Continue reading “Real Kill”

Letter to Patrick

Hey Patrick, it’s JP.

I’m wearing that robe tonight, the maroon one that you and Ivonne bought for me when I came to visit in Palma—so long ago it seems, although it was really just a year and a half ago. So I’m wearing the maroon robe and I’m thinking about you.

You know, things are going ok. Of course, I still miss you like crazy. It’s what, one in the morning and I’m thinking about you.

I think about you a lot.

Still, I’ve dialed it back some. Continue reading “Letter to Patrick”