I called my old friend Rudy yesterday to see how he was doing. Rudy is like eighty seven years old and we don't get to see each other as often as we used to. Other than old age, having had a recent colon removal operation, and feeling a little weak in the knees, Rudy was doing fine. I met Rudy back in 1975, I was twenty five and he was in his forties. Rudy owned bars and restaurants in Chicago, and he was also an undertaker. Each profession complemented the other. The best part about knowing Rudy was that he liked to go out drinking. He always had an entourage that would pile into his big black undertaker's Cadillac for a whirlwind tour of the downtown gay bars. When you were with Rudy you had to drink fast though, because we never stayed more than fifteen minutes in any one bar before moving on to the next one. The evening would stretch into the early morning hours and we'd always end up back at Rudy's bar. It was a bar that closed at four in the morning, which we would then help him clean. Our reward for being the cleaning crew was free drinks until the sun came up. Talking to Rudy yesterday made me a bit nostalgic for those days. It brought back memories of bar fights, stabbings, drunks having sex in the bathroom, and me in the middle of it all. Of course I did not partake in most of those activities. One other thing about Rudy. When I had cancer in 1988 and had finished my twelve weeks of chemo, I came down to Florida to visit Rudy. He had sold all his Chicago businesses and moved down here with a few members of the entourage. As I got off the plane, there was Rudy along with two other friends of ours waiting. They had all shaved their heads in support of me. It was very touching, except for the fact that really only two of them had shaved their heads. Rudy simply took off his wig, which was a big deal because never in all the years I had known him, had I ever seen him without that god awful wig.