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Body on the recliner

While stationed on a ship at the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia, I had an apartment off base. It was a small, furnished apartment over a garage next to the landlord’s home. The apartment was not that great but it was cheap, close to the base, and gave me a way to get away from the Navy while the ship was in port. The landlords were in their 80's and the husband had some dementia so I usually made the rent payment to the wife. I stayed there for about two years, keeping the apartment even when I was out on the ship for long periods. When in the apartment, I spent a lot of time sitting in a recliner in the living room eating, reading, and watching television.

When I was moving out of the apartment in preparation for a transfer, the old man was in the yard and stopped to talk. His mind would wander, so he did not remember that I was in the navy. When I mentioned it, he said the tenant before I moved in was an old retired navy man. He said no one had seen the man for a while so he had gone into the apartment to check on him and found the man sitting in the recliner DEAD; he had been dead for a few days. He said that it took them days of cleaning and deodorizing to get the smell out of the recliner. It would have been nice if he had remembered to tell me that two years earlier.

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