Old Man Winter was right about two things: His clock was broken and his days were numbered.
He died Thursday, December 18, 2008. I went to see him in the nursing home he had checked himself into a couple of days before. Luckily he only had to stay there for about a week because the place stank of menthol and Alzheimer’s. Old Man Winter is better than that. It was different from the stench of his house: sugarcoated bastard with a hint of lemon. I think the lemon because of his dusting solution, and the bastard because of his attitude.
I talked with him for a while and the last thing he ever said to me was: “Dear, I never said any one bad thing to you. Just remember that when ol’ Satan calls” I think it might have been a threat. Actually, this is a lie, the last thing he said to me was, “see if that old lady is still in my living room. She’s been in there all damn day,” but it was the last coherent thing he said to me.
On the day of the funeral I had the flu but I went anyway, infecting all his old, old friends I’m sure in all my Anna Nicole Smith glory. It wasn’t weird seeing him in his coffin. I had seen him look deader in his chair at home. The weirdest part was seeing his estranged brother at the funeral walking around. It was old man winter. I realized it wasn’t Old Man first because the man was smiling, second because I remembered OMW was dead. His brother asked me if I was the girl Old Man had fallen in love with and I couldn’t help feeling one part sad, one part creeped out, but a larger part like one glamorous, not to mention successful, gold-digger.
The service was boring and missing a few key family members (like his only grandsons), but otherwise alright. If my body was capable of shedding tears, I might have even spent one on the day.
As I was leaving the building and before my mom asked if we should put my contact information in the guest book (for purpose of the will), I could have sworn I heard an old, crusty whisper tell me I have hands like a freak-midget for such a husky girl. But it must have just been the wind because like he said: Old Man Winter never did say one bad thing to me.
May he rest in peace, and may the clock shop not spend too much time fixing his clock.