Derek Enders

Derek Enders is not someone I knew very well, but he was part of my life. I didn’t really like him that much because he hung around my girlfriend a fair amount, and because he was always nice to me, and I get suspicious of people who hang around my girlfriend and are nice to me.

I have a few memories of Derek beyond that. One is swimming in Jen’s pool. Another is him making smartass remarks while playing board games in Jen’s apartment. The most resonant is his Honda Element’s battery dying in Jen’s parking lot. Rob and I drove to Shoreline to find an extension cord long enough that we could run the cord from the apartment lobby out in the parking lot to charge it with some kind of plug-in charger we had found. We all resolved to wake up intermittently during the night and take turns checking it. Derek left early that morning without saying good bye. It wasn’t the last time I saw him.

In each of those occasions the thing I remember most is Derek’s smile. It struck me as kind of sly. I’d say roguish if it wouldn’t get me labeled as a nerd. But it was onmipresent and infectious. And now, for maybe the first time ever, it’s gone.

Death scares me, but somehow I don’t think it scared Derek. I heard someone say his heart was too big. They were probably right.

I’ll always expect to see you on New Years.

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