There are some conversations I only hear when I make the trip home to Western Maryland. This weekend, one of those overheard conversations started innocently enough – the usual checking in on mutual friends that happens when two people who haven’t seen one another in a while show up at the same place. It very quickly became obvious that it was a conversation better not had… because it went something like this:
Person 1: Have you seen Bob lately?
Person 2: Bob’s dead.
Person 1: Oh damn. What about Frank?
Person 2: Dead.
Person 1: What was his wife’s name?
Person 2: Bonnie. She moved to Florida and died.
Person 1: Pete?
Person 2: Stroke.
Person 3: Maybe you could just list the people not dead?
OK, so I made up Person 3… mostly because that’s what I was sitting there thinking while this conversation happened. It went on for another ten minutes, with every answer being that someone was dead, almost dead, in a nursing home, in a nursing home and almost dead, or moved to Florida.
I hate to think that in 35 years that’s the kind of conversation I can look forward to. In fairness, I’ll probably be one of the ones who has dropped dead by then so I’ll at least get to miss out on the most awkward small talk ever… and that my friends is the sound of going home.