I bring you sad news - truly a tale of terror fit for a noir thriller. It is the story of a dear friend of mine, Frosty. You may be familiar with Frosty, many people are. He's a happy soul - some might say jolly with his dark eyes and button nose and ever-present pipe caught in the corner of a happy smile. Frosty was a fellow who could almost magically lift the spirits of a room when he walked in. He'd doff his silk and in that way of his, ask the ladies to dance - soon all the worries of the world vanished.
Even children loved Frosty. Those who know me will be aware that I'm not particularly fond of the little cusses. They make me nervous and generally run amok given even the shortest span of leash to run with. Not Frosty, though. He saw them as windows into his own childlike spirit, muses sent to bring out the playful essence that lurked within. Yes, put Frosty in a room with a flock of kids and soon they'd all be running and romping together. In a way I envy his comfort with the younger set.
Well, late last year Frosty met a lady and fell hard. Immediately I was concerned - she didn't seem his sort. I'd always pictured Frosty as the sort of guy who'd go for a jolly, well-rounded lady who shared his cheerful disposition and mischievous streak. Knowing that, you'll understand why I was taken aback when he showed up with a wasp-waisted brunette in a tight red sweater. I told myself the unease I felt was more due to my preconceptions being shattered than any real gripe or concern with his choice of companionship. Every man is entitled to be happy and the Frost-man certainly seemed to be just that. Happy.
So, I played along when he traded in his old top hat for a porkpie and his fine clothes for trendy garb. I ignored the fact he spent more time at the track than with his old friends. I didn't even say anything when he started drinking - bourbon on the rocks, I should have realized he was on the downhill slide. We all ignored the changes in his personality, his clashes with the police, and his public acts of indiscretion. If a man wants to trot about the square, that's his own business - right?
Then, one night with spring on the cusp of breaking, he disappeared. He left the club, muttering something about having to hurry. The last I saw him he waved jauntily from the doorway and then disappeared. None of us could have imagined he would be gone from our lives so soon.
The police were summoned to the Frosty residence on a call from the mysterious brunette. His body was discovered in the freezer and, though I find the explanation ridiculous, the coroner's report would say he fell in and the door shut behind him. The police say his blood alcohol level was so high that it's likely he never felt a thing. The brunette, sole beneficiary in Frosty's will, soon disappeared - moved to Florida I hear tell.
I will try not to think of Frosty's springtime demise but I have to say, whenever the calendar turns and the temperatures climb it will be hard not to think of my dear friend. I'll look out over the snowy hills, wipe a tear away, and I'll remember we'll be together again some day…