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Visiting the Zen Man Al

Page 7

Pavle Radonic

At the end of the hour and half almost on point of leaving Al had asked for a hand. Thought had been he had wanted to go looking through his room for the fantasy ciggies he insisted were stashed there. Two or three times earlier he had strained to rise from the chair for the venture. Earlier the Filipina had reported that Al could not be left alone because of his restlessness. More than four months he had not been up on his feet unaided. There had been at least one fall at Altona and one or two earlier in the hospitals.

However, it had not been physical support he had needed at the end of this visit. When the hand that was sought was eventually offered it was taken by Al and slipped into his own. After a good firm grip was secured a little shake given against his chest. It made a nice surprise. Quite unexpected, even outside the new Covid protocols. This may have been only the second or third time we had ever shaken over the thirty years. Blues and Zen men did not shake hands; it was the other crowd that did that.


Tuesday 18 May 2021

Al went off to a better place today. The no-place maybe.

Cousin Barry called couple minutes after he passed, shortly after 3pm. We joined at the bedside, door closed, low light, just the 2/3 of us. Couple hours altogether.

Barry was brilliant, full of feeling & reminiscence. Damn beautiful.

No pain throughout; all well-managed. The Filipinas & Indians gave wonderful care. One Oz gal apparently cried when Baz told her he wasn't going to make it through the day. Baz knew. No one told him. Striking.

Sad. But a release. Earlier Baz had talked to him about Robert Johnson's Crossroads. Gotta get offa the freight train.

Had to tell ya immediately man.



Yep. That’s it.

Really very fitting end. He wasn’t for it any more.

Nothing ugly. Not even the shrunken body and parchment face there with us on the bed. A leg up on the corner of the footboard listening to Baz made it more comfortable. Baz appreciated the receptive ear. Great rhythm.

Fine farewell.

Take care my man.


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