i got the call a little before midnight, new york time. he had just suffered a heart attack, his second.
we were loading up the car when the real call came.
by the time we got to the house, the ambulances were already there, and the cops were trying to perform CPR.
i went into the livingroom. he was lying on the floor there. all ther furniture had been moved.
all the family that could be assembled made their way to the hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead.
i'm still kind of in shock. some people just aren't supposed to die.
i can barely believe i'm noding right now. but i need something to do, some way to get this off my chest.
he taught me so much.
he took me on my first subway ride when i was 5.
oh my god, i'm pipe linking.
he gave me money to repair my uncle's old drum set. he set up an amp in the basement so i could learn to play bass. he taught me how to rewire my guitars and my house. we made drumsticks out of old dowels on his belt sander.
when my parents divorced, he let his son-in-law stay in the house until i went to college. when i came back for the summers, he let me stay for free and even lent me his car.
he was a stubborn old sicilian bastard, and that's what killed him, at least in part.
he was diabetic but didn't care.
sunday night, he was eating clams and candy and chocolate pudding.
and now he's gone.
and the fucking pudding is still in the fucking refrigerator.
and it's 4:00 in the fucking morning and everyone i know is asleep and with their parents right now so i can't even call them.
my mom is staying at my grandmother's, my love is down on the farm this week.
and he never even met his great-grandson.. he asked about him all the time, but never got to meet him.
my grandparents celebrated 50 years of marriage in January. we made a collage of pictures from their life.
i stared at it for a while when i was at the house.
i have a picture here that i took back. he's holding me in his chair; i must have been two or three.
i can still smell the old, cracked leather of that chair.
he lived a full life, at least.
he was a printer most of his life. i found a letter from his union promoting him to supervisor in 1959.
i remember sitting on huge stacks of paper in the printing room of the school of visual arts, where he was the head printer until the diabetes affected his legs.
his brother Angelo died when he was a kid; he was hit by a car.
his brother Joe died recently, of cancer.
and now he's gone.
at least he knows i love him; that we all love him. he was never shy about telling us that.
i think that's the last thing i ever said to him...