He wasn’t a close friend, but an older seeming ex-hippy guy I used to work with. I had to turn inventory sheets into him, and doing this daily I would strike up conversation with him. He thought I was pretty weird (most people do), and sometimes I would reinforce that by bursting into his office, declaring out of nowhere, “Herb, stars of track and field are beautiful people,” or “If you eat anti-pasta and pasta, is that the same as not eating anything?”
I liked Herb because he was really nice to me, in a place where most people were assholes towards me. After I got canned from that job, I would do my grocery shopping at 7 AM at my local Fred Meyer’s, and like clockwork, I would see Herb there every Saturday morning and make small talk with him. He was pretty shy, too, so I did most of the talking. He would just ask me how I was doing, and smile at me.
Christ, now he’s in a coma. How weird. I hope he’s having some beautiful dreams.