Sam died today. I see this one-line memorial on the home page of my computer when I boot up and my breath catches. Nearly a year ago I placed this electronic headstone on my southwestern wallpaper scene. Sam’s cyberspace cemetery, courtesy of Google’s design, is a brightly colored stucco wall adorned with dried chilies hanging from a hand-crafted ladder. I think putting him here was my way of marking a life, so I wouldn’t forget.
Sam died in an alley, I was told. Feelings of unexplained loss merged with flashbacks of his life. His gap-toothed grin was magical. After 63 years on this Earth fighting for dignity and for some small share of our bounty, he was ever hopeful. Occasional work in a garage made Sam feel useful and helped fund his few valuables, such as the tiny TV he treasured.
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