We lost a family member this week. On Monday, my brother-in-law Giovanni was found dead in his apartment. He was seated at his computer, head laid on the desk. My sister Jane found his body.
He wasn’t Jane’s husband, he was her husband Georges’s brother. I got to the apartment building when the police were inside, body still there. My nephew Anton told me – I immediately thought it was suicide, he had been going through some shit, but they’ve deemed it a heart attack.
Jane and Georges’s apartment is next to Gio’s, so we sat in there along with some of our friends who live nearby. In shock. The body was carried down the stairs, on its way to the funeral home. After a respectable amount of time (at least we thought so). we put on gloves and our masks and went into Gio’s place.
He was a bachelor, and his home fit the stereotype-quite disheveled, dirty, and kind of dark. Jane, Georges, and Anton started to go through his things. I stood back, thinking they may not want me to root around. I was close to Gio, having known him 30 years, but I’m not immediate family. I didn’t want to upset Georges any further.
Anton was checking things out on the desk. There was a scraping noise as Anton found a thin drawer underneath the computer. “SHIT”he exclaimed. We all went over. In the drawer was a plate with a short but wide straw lying in white powder. There was what looked to be about twenty empty small plastic bags spread out by the plate. It was well known by us that Gio was into cocaine at different times in his life, although for the last few years he’d been clean, as far as we knew. We have no idea why the police did not find the coke, or found it but didn’t take or mention it. Anton was frantic. “Quick! Everyone get OUT OF HERE” he screamed. We ran back to Jane’s place. We carefully removed and threw away our gloves and washed our hands. Anton was afraid there was fhentonal (sp) laced in the cocaine, and that the slightest contact with it could be deadly. I’m not sure if it could actually kill you, but Anton was very seriously shaken up. “It’s been showing up around town lately in a lot of shit”, he said. This was one instance where it was good to have a recovering meth addict in the group. At least I hope he’s still “recovering “. You could never quite tell with Anton. But my nephew’s story is for another entry.
Needless to say there was lots of crying and complete disbelief, and it wasn’t much different in the days that followed. Yesterday was the memorial service which was beautiful. After that Georges opened his bar, which had been closed all week because of his brother’s death, and half the town drank for free. After lots of stories, toasts, tears, and even some dancing, I left while the party was still in full swing.
I miss my friend. I have to wrap this entry up, I can’t go on. For now, I will just say Gio, I know you were with us yesterday. You were not one to ever miss a party. Love you always, my brother ❤️