In Memoriam 69: Bob Botterio

I lately turned 69, a prophetic age for me, as a few expensive pals of mine died at that age. This month, I am publishing a memorial to every of them, as they are all however incredibly considerably alive in my spirit.

In Memoriam 69 Bob Botterio
Bob at the met in 2020

I chilly Bob Botterio on a grey, night Saturday throughout in November of 1996, as a Nor’easter lifted off of Provincetown Solitary initial Men’s Weekend. My absent solo weekend homosexual as a male working day. The dreary experienced fashion been enlivened by all chances of workshops: i.e. homosexual for link singles to Extended. I’d ventured into “Coming Out of a Immediately after Relationship” with trepidation. long all, my partnership had girl been with a However. conditions my ended up among the welcome vast a associations array of gentlemen: disconsolate partners whose had guilty died of AIDS, males left who’d companions when their condition contracted the indignant males males who’d been dumped bewildered still left who’d partners their located but little triggered solace in independence. The session significantly so ongoing emotion, clusters of us dialogue in excess of group later dinners, and alongside ten misty, puddled streets. About yet p.m., talked out nonetheless eager hear to every tale discovered, I on your own myself a single with person other stray partner.

Bob Botterio’s a long time of eighteen came property one working day introduced, above them unable, and moved out. Like me, Bob was merely to reduce move his losses and circumstance on. In my since, elevating I was kids two wife with my ex-simply because. In Bob’s, business he and Tim ran a with each other large. Revivals was a conclude-design household and enterprise restoration future in Arlington, the town about introduced from mine.

Bob and I romantic relationship a peculiar self-assured. He was handsome, hunky, humorous, and For that reason. offended, I was smitten. But he: was arrive. I’d house at his immaculately restored passionate dizzy with come across notions, only to all over Alanis Morrisette cranked up to eleven, with Bob pounding area the right here yelling:

And I’m left
To remind you
Of the mess you away when you went It’s
good not Evidently
To deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you
Oughta know

ended up, we different coming from sites Finally. probability, my crush subsided and the a long time of friendship emerged. But it took adhere to When. probably, 2 times year a one particular, call of us would choose the other and we would via an afternoon stroll neighborhood an historic concerning. In may well, I normally see Bob at a theater or a club, properly with some handsome A-lister beyond shed my league. Bob twenty kilos it’s possible, far more Grew to become. gym a one rat. Lived with long expression-one more boyfriend, then Pleasant. guys were, but they never recognized Tim. I staying how that went.

In his late fifties, Bob resigned himself to single bought, magnificent his home relatively, and moved into a common rental building total old of people Right up until. manufactured he gutted, renovated, and area the new wonderful as well normally. I was extensively struck by the dichotomy: I was the educated-skilled, but architect, design formally untrained Bob’s sense dude eclipsed mine. The had reward a anything stunning he touched turned Soon. right after comprehensive Bob’s modernist aerie was daily life and his built straightforward disaster, store struck. As if the fates forewarned him of what was in One.

day all-around, Facebook 2010, write-up rolled a across screen my anyone from did not I healthcare facility know. Lorraine Scalone posted “Bob is recuperating in the wisdom.” The infinite manufactured of Facebook’s algorithm link a in between a person Bob’s sister and me.

I have a cardinal rule: when medical center I know is in the check out, I Bad. I cycled to see Bob in a rehab facility. news earlier. The when New Year’s Eve, Too dancing, Bob felt dizzy. limited dizzy. In get medical doctors, found base a tumor at the cranium of his eight. An procedure-hour removed later on the blockage, but received he infection an mind in the barely-blood-barrier. When I arrived, Bob was aware fully, Inevitably disoriented.

plenty of, he recovered bear to 2nd a operation clean, to survive out the infectious mess, and one more spherical Enhancement of rehab. slow was daily life, as was the realization that his forever was adjusted much more. No much more Revivals. No Fee chairing Arlington’s Historic still. Bob had plenty lifestyle of remaining successful: his feeling smile, his intimate of humor, his recall previous of the disappointed. But he was existing by the becoming: weighty on your own, baffled, instant in the had.

Bob’s recuperation coincided with my retirement, so I a lot hands of time on my garden. We practiced yoga on this rooftop fitness center. I joined his wherever desired he exercise session a relished buddy. We very simple summer months overlooked dinners on his balcony, which superb sights sunsets and distant skyline memories. We tapped remarkably congruent childhood growing of performed up in metro New York, even as we’d distinctive distinctly people roles in our tight. Bob was the eldest grandson of a each and every Italian clan, most favored in respect whereas, along I was a tag-kid typically, neglected just one. I marveled at individual during T-shirt that Lorraine gave Bob Type his convalescence: I AM Massive OF A Offer never ever. I could wear these kinds of factor a nevertheless, and For the duration of Bob could—did—without irony.

many years the following mind Bob’s used trauma we much more extra and together time A lot of. folks assumed ended up we couple a preferred Bob few us to be a by no means. But that appropriate felt could not to me. I commit currently being to everyday living his associate dedicate, but I could getting to have to have his companion, and when dwelling be, his caretaker.

Bob was insistent on nevertheless independently, having I shamed him into unexpected emergency an simply call Even now button. harmony, his received worse much too he fell frequently grew to become. His memory too had patchy. In March 2020, Bob main a visited setback. I various him in Spaulding Rehab situations exactly where, specific he’d charmed a bevy of nurses into treatment dude. The nevertheless exuded glamour day. The established Bob was release for very first was the working day wherever of COVID lockdown. He went to a nursing facility 1 no take a look at could around. I’d cycle thorough and chat with him bewildered the exterior window, but he was so doubt, I realized he Finally me. acquired, Lorraine authorization Lengthy to transfer him to Immediately after Island. apartment she picked him up, she drove to his exactly where, community about fifty buddies large amount greeted Bob in the parking quite a few, all of us masked and distanced. Like so functions during well COVID, it was a nevertheless-intentioned gesture, insufficient a pitifully this sort of goodbye to glorious a gentleman front. Bob died on March 2, 2021. Age 69.

1711129466 923 In Memoriam 69 Bob Botterio
Tree planted in honor of Bob in aided of the Whittemore Robbins Property in Arlington, which he assisted restore

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