Invariably, we humans are a curious breed; we never fail to see the optimism of tomorrow. While we rarely manage to address everything in our inexplicably busy lives today, we know with certainty that tomorrow the sun will rise in the East and, given our best intentions, we will accomplish what we've needed to address by the time tomorrow's Sun sets in the West.
Except we don't call into question whether we'll be there to witness both of these daily certainties. Of course we will; why would we even question it?
A friend of mine, Neil Dublinsky, seemed to be that type of realistic optimist. He was always quick with a smile or a good word or support, someone who seemed to get it. I hadn't seen him since September when he'd visited New York, but we'd been friends online for more years than I can remember. We'd met through J-Date, he of the moniker Hip Lawyer Man LA and me of the Boogie Booginacious moniker. We'd worked opposite coasts but we'd both benefited by the fact that we just enjoyed interacting with others and enjoying every minute of every day. Once we finally had a chance to hang out in September of last year, I'm glad to note that he was the same generous, easy-going mensch in person that he had always been in the virtual world.
Going through the myriad minutae of Facebook, I suddenly discovered he passed away this past July 25th. "Neil? No, that can't be." Somehow I just couldn't believe it. It didn't seem to make any sense -- I'd spoken to him somewhat recently and he didn't mention he'd been ill and didn't seem to be off in any way. After some digging I'd confirmed what I was hoping I wouldn't. So many people left their thoughts and prayers and sympathies on his Facebook wall, and further prepared and posted entries about their thoughts on Neal's all-too-brief life. I'm still shocked and saddened by the fact that his is a life that is no more. I want to somehow believe that I'm not in reality and that tomorrow will bring news that this was all part of some alternate reality, one that he and I will laugh about the next time we meet up in NYC, whether at Vynl or somewhere uptown or wherever. We might even commiserate about the passing of Captain Lou Albano, the famed pro-wrestling personality we both admired in the 80's. Or just muse over the intricacies and vagaries of life in general.
Unfortunately, I know this won't be so. Of course my thoughts and prayers and sympathy extend to his family and friends, and I'm sure at some point I'll re-visit his wall and read through the additional comments from his other friends equally saddened by this news as am I. And each time I think of his easy-going smile and seeming happiness in this life, I'll hope that -- wherever he is -- he's happy and at peace and sharing his smile and his genuine good nature and generous spirit with whomever he's with.
Rest in peace, Neal...as much as I'm glad to have known you I'm sad that your time here was so brief. One thing I know for sure -- whether yesterday, today or the tomorrow that is yet to come -- you'll be smiling and so will be whomever you're with.