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Originally posted by ronald_bloom at For blacknarcissus2 — Requiescat in pace

Ron stared out at the grey-on-grey San Francisco city-scape. It was beautiful — it had always looked beautiful to him, even when he'd had to go out to frost-bitten Candlestick Park to cover Mets-Giants games back in the bad old days. But it sure as hell didn't look like summer. The coldest winter I ever spent....

"Are you going to read the Journal," said Heather with a smirk, "or just use it as a coaster for your coffee?"

He shook himself and handed her the paper. "Sorry, babe." They had gotten the NY Journal daily ever since they'd moved to the City by the Fucking Bay. Nostalgia, mostly. Partly for the malignant, fabulous tumor of a city that had spawned him. Partly because the year he'd spent working at the Journal had changed his life. Had made him who he was. Hell, had hooked him up with Heather, in all her grey-on-grey, kinky-ass glory.

They'd been getting the paper delivered daily for over a decade, but he barely read it these days; some of the names were still familiar, but a bunch had moved on.


Newspapers were dead anyway.

Ron spent most of his time fucking blogging. And fucking tweeting. And fucking not giving a shit, but hey, it was work. And the Giants were a fun team. In even years, anyway.

The Journal...

It was funny. Most of his memories from the papers he'd worked at — the Chronicle and, years ago, the Sun — had to do with games he'd covered, or players he'd interviewed. He still had the signed 1972 Willie Mays baseball card framed up on his home office wall.

But the Journal? His memories from his brief time there — as a fucking book reviewer, for fuck's sake — were about the people.

Foster and his shoes. And his god-awful romance novels.

Playing cards with Anne.

Getting into a fist-fight with Ferguson, protecting... What was her name? The redhead? Yeah. Caley. Protecting Caley's fucking honor. Like an idiot. Like she needed his protection, or wanted it.

"Ron. Sweetheart?"

He blinked at his whatever-the-fuck-she-was. She looked as if she'd been hit in the stomach. "Babe?"

Her face even paler than usual, she slid the Journal across the table.

Open to the obituaries.

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Alison Coulthard made me a friend in 2004, pulling me into a wonderful, silly online RPG called ny_journal. Alison wrote marti_b. My character ronald_bloom fell in love with her. And no surprise.

Alison passed away suddenly on August 4, 2016.

I was always sure I would get to see her face to face, to meet the dogs and the daughters she loved so dearly, but now I will never get that chance, and my life is the poorer for it.

I was not her closest friend, but we shared so much — common age, common careers, common taste in music — that the news of her death stunned me. Her family and the folks who truly knew her best left an outpouring of grief across a wide swath of social media, and I felt utterly inadequate in expressing my own sense of loss.

So I let Ron do it for me.
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