Wednesday, January 13, 2010
For the record, I wrote yesterday’s entry, Render Unto Caesar, the previous morning. But not long after posting it, at about eight-thirty, I became unaccountably apprehensive — something was wrong somewhere, but I didn’t know what it was.
The feeling stayed with me for the next hour or so, then it let up on my way downtown to have coffee with a writer-friend of mine. As was almost always the case, he wasn’t there when I arrived, so I sat down with a cup to wait. I finished it alone, then left, thinking he must have forgotten it was Tuesday. It had happened before.
I went home. Not two minutes later, the telephone rang. It was the administrator of the little care facility where my mother lives, calling to say that Mom was having a lot of pain in one of her teeth. So I quickly arranged an appointment for her with the dentist. As it turns out, two of her lower front teeth need to be pulled. And I thought, well, there you have it, my mother and I have always been on the same wavelength — no wonder I was nervous.
Meanwhile, I tried calling my friend a few times. He didn’t answer.
Now, the reason I’m writing this after one in the morning is that I’m wide awake after receiving the call that informed me of his death, in bed, of a heart attack or massive stroke.
For the past few months, Tim Hinshaw had been putting together a collection of his old newspaper columns. Back in the mid-Nineties, we published a small community paper together. I won’t go into that now; let’s just say we’ve been around the block a few times. And let’s also say that this first time around without him seems awfully strange.