At age 56. From an infection of an undiagnosed cancerous tumor. His neighbors noticed that the mail and newspapers had been piling up and called the police. I don't know where to start with Tom. A gregarious, intelligent, witty guy. One of the best natural salespeople I've ever known. Tom had gotten downsized out of a good professional sales job some years ago. He'd tried, hard, to make a new career for himself. But in order to make ends meet, he'd also taken an (IMHO) dead-end part-time job in a supermarket. We rarely saw him socially because of the second-shift hours he worked. Tom was also a hard-right Conservative. We sorta agreed not to talk too much about politics. I spent most of the summer in Europe. And when I returned in September I learned that he'd finally quit the supermarket job because of back problems. I asked him if he'd seen a doctor, because if he'd injured his back on the job, the treatment would be covered by Workmans Compensation. He acted as if I'd suggested he join the Cominterm. Tom hated Barack Obama. He hated Obamacare for reasons I never quite understood. He hadn't seen a proper doctor in a decade or more. And he died, alone, in a grotty apartment. It's probably a mistake for me to draw too many concrete conclusions from all this. But I do see too many of my friends, white men in their early middle-age, guys who got pushed out of the corporate-paid healthcare system, dying alone and dreadfully prematurely because they lacked affordable access to healthcare. And the tragedy is they vote Republican. Because they are going to keep them safe from the nasty muslims and lazy mexicans. I'm so angry, and sad, right now.