I've dumped in the Sugar Shack enough lately that I figure everyone there needs a break. So I'll dump on you, instead.

It's amazing how much I've come to love Randy like a brother in the past three years. We've both gone from cautious and wary of getting close to "if you need anything, anything at all like, say, a kidney, just call." It's the only real-life friendship I've had since my highschool buddy passed away in 1990.

It's not that I have trouble finding people I have something in common with. The world's full of geeks. It's that I'm the world's harshest judge of character. I'd have snubbed Jesus as a drinking buddy if I'd known his plans in advance. "Oh, a martyr, huh? I hate those!" I hold my friends to impossibly high standards. It's totally unfair of course, because I seldom meet those same standards, but there you have it. Too many times have I ignored my first impressions and lowered my guard, only to regret it later. I'm very protective. I often say people are jerks, but I know that's a huge generalization and unfair to a lot of people. I just don't feel like putting in the time to sift through 100 jerks to find the one diamond in the rough. I've got a happy marriage and great kids. My life is full enough.

But then there's Randy. Somehow he slipped through the cracks in my wall and we connected well enough that I never treated him as unfairly as I do everyone else. He's got his flaws, just like me, and I find that I don't care. Just as long as we can spend some time together every few weeks, it's all good.

It's nice to have a friend.


On June 5th, he had a heart attack. The ambulance got to him fast enough that there was no actual damage to his heart. As a result, because there were several compelling reasons to think it was nothing more than an esophageal spasm and with no evidence to the contrary, that was their diagnosis. Painful, yes, but non-threatening. Within the next week he had two more minor episodes and figured it was just more of the same, so he went about his business.

On the 17th he collapsed on the floor at the grocery store. This time the ambulance wasn't so quick, and they found evidence of damage to his heart. He's been in the hospital ever since. Since then, he's had five more, three of which happened while wearing a nitro patch. They're not having any luck finding the cause. The angiogram showed nothing. Yet the attacks continue.

His heart is badly misfiring, and nobody can tell him why. The doctors are baffled. His wife and mother are freaked. Randy's scared. So am I.

I don't want to lose him.

If you're wondering why I haven't been around Worth so much, or why my jokes fall even flatter than normal when I am, now you know.
As always, Sean, hopes and prayers.
How is it that a good guy can lament the loss of a friend on Worth, and then feel the impending loss of another friend might deprive him of the right, or opportunity, of lamenting the impending loss of just as good a friend?

I know you well enough now, Galoot. You're a good guy, and you deserve better than to have your friendships diminished so suddenly. Here's hoping that Randy pulls it out.

- Tiddly
Damn. That's not fair.

I imagine what it must be like, because I lower my guards very, very seldom, too. And losing someone who got that far and reached the very core is... horrible.

I really hope Randy comes around, 'Loot.
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