"Hung?"Around six-thirty one night early in April, Jessika, Sally's former colleague from Boom Chicago [the advertising agency] called to say that Angie Driscoll's boyfriend, Rick, had hung himself."You mean hanged," I told her. "Who?" "Angie, from Boom.""Angie ... The black girl who looks sort of like Chaka Khan?" She told me, yes, the black girl from Boom. I went on to say that that was awful, sad and everything."Anyway," Jessika said, "there's a kind of a wake tonight." I wished Sally had picked up the phone. She'd know what to say. "And who was he exactly, this Rick?""He worked at Boom, too. The wake's just around the corner from you guys.""Out here in the west [Amsterdam district]?""That's right. They live nearby. You went to a party at their place last summer. In the back yard.""Is it there?"
"No, but it's nearby. I think it'd be good for Angie to have people around her."
"Does she even know who I am? I never worked at Boom."
"If you don't want to go, Sean, don't go."
"Does anybody want to go to a wake, Jess? Is it the sort of thing people enjoy?"
I got off the phone and told Sally that Angie Driscoll's boyfriend, Rick, had hung himself.
"Hanged," she said. "Who's Angie Driscoll?"
I explained, "The black girl from Boom. You used to work with her. And him, I believe. I seem to recall that he was a short guy. He was English, right?"
"Maybe," Sally said. "Or American."
We each drank a beer and debated whether or not to go. I barely knew Angie and didn't really know him at all, although I vaguely recalled standing next to him at that party Jessika mentioned, admiring his twin turntables and collection of vinyl. But Sally said that Angie was a nice kid. "So we should go ... shouldn't we?" "Does she look like Chaka Khan?" I asked
"What does Chaka Khan look like?" "She's black."
"I know she's black."
"Lots of hair. Kind of pretty."
"Could be. So are we going?"
I looked out the window, hoping I'd see rain, but not the sort that would remind me too much of Antwerp ...
After the wake Sally and I came home to eat some salad and drink a little wine, because we could; because we were alive. We talked for a while then turned on the television, but even as we watched we forgot what we were seeing, as though in silence and shadow, it was disappearing right before our eyes.--- From My 'Dam Life
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