I once made a point to write down all of the names of those in this neighborhood who passed away. Whether it was acts of violence, addiction, illness, cold, or natural causes, something deep within me feels the injustice of a death without recognition, without any kind of pause, thought, silence.
Ten minutes ago, I received a phone call from the hospital from a nurse, looking for Bartolo's next of kin. He had named me as his emergency contact. Me, the person who made him laugh with broken Spanish, who liked to pluck off his hat to show his lack of hair, who would occasionally stop next to the nest of blankets that enveloped him in his Doorway (http://144southdivision.blogspot.com/2009/12/door-way.html), who called him 'sir', and called him a friend, but couldn't go much further than that. I knew nothing of his next of kin.
But I knew of his laugh, his kindness, his deep and beautiful wrinkled face. And just for now, for this moment, I'm thinking of him.