One of my best friends, a good buddy from way back, took up flying. This was quite a few years ago, but having known him from his wild thirty something musician days, the thought of him way up there with nothing underneath him scared the hell out me. Every time a plane went down anywhere in California I read the story with dread that it would be him. It never was. It was ridiculous, I know. He was a helluva pilot, and it was something else, something organic and inevitable, that finally got him. Anyway, yesterday I read a plane went down off San Pedro. I was about to look for the name of the pilot when I realized that it couldn’t be him. It never would be him, not ever. Weird the mix of relief and inexorable sadness that came over me. Weird how things finally crystallize into something terribly finite in your mind, the odd things, even ridiculous things that you find yourself grieving over if only for a moment. Life goes on.

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