Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dominoes and Destiny

Like clockwork, at midnight and two and five in the morning.  The cashier at the south side of the table.  His uncle at the east.  Used to do maintenance, but got moved to frozen.  The other guy from frozen at the west side of the table.  And I had the north seat.
Double six dominoes, played very simply.  No points, just draw seven and try not to get stuck with a double in your hand.
We even had nicknames for each other.  The cashier was "blueberry", from the blue single dot for 1.  The frozen guy was "pineapple", because he once had 5 6's in his hand and managed to turn it into a winning hand. Blueberry's uncle was "dohch", which I assume means blank.  I speak no Spanish.  When we started playing dominoes a few months ago during break and lunch, he had a streak of getting the double-blank.  We even named the domino after him.  And I was cardboard.  The four dots were brown in a square, kinda like a cardboard box.  And, most often, my job these days involves collecting and crushing cardboard.

Saturday night.  No blueberry.  No dohch.

With various rumors going around, I finally found out around midshift that "dohch" had died.  He was only 42.

"It wasn't shocking.  Licking a nine-volt is shocking.  This was ... I have no words for it."
- cardboard to the overnight genius,
the night after we found out.

As is common after sudden deaths like this, we're left contemplating the nature of this brief life.  The usual cliches come to mind.  The questions as to whether we have a pre-set appointment with the Reaper.

"What's his name this time?  Grimulun?"  "No, just Grimm."
 - Jimmy Barclay and Nagel
- someone to watch over me, adventures in odyssey

There's enough free will and random events in the world, that I don't think we necessarily have an expiration date.  There's so much bacon, scotch, cigarettes, and recalled medication, that we are, to an unknown degree, tweaking our own appointment with St. Peter.

But, life is short.  And, #YOLO.

Of course, if I wanted to be depressed for the rest of the day, I'd just ask whether anyone would ...

Rest in peace, "dohch."

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