Intro - Bob - Life and Death (Further Parts to Follow)


Bob – Life and Death – a Parable of My Web of Life (or Lives) – Intro

(The Web of Lives will Continue – for How Long?  I don’t know)

(This is a Beginning – I’m guessing there will be plenty of Parts in This Series)

I was slightly shocked, but not surprised to hear yesterday that Bob died a year and three days earlier.  

I am writing this, as I do with all my writings – primarily for myself.  Responses are welcome, but not necessarily expected.

I also want to appreciate an ally and friend I value deeply as I begin this writing!   I will protect the identity here – and say – “This is To X”


My Paternal Grandfather I was Named After - George Marx

I met Bob at the Washington University- St. Louis Area – Men and Masculinity Conference, amidst the heavy humidity, during the Summer of 1985.   He became what I considered my “best friend”, something I’d never had before.   I was and am still in significant part – a loner – without – “a friend”.

Fortunately, today I am developing several most meaningful friendships, as well as many incredible, wonderful allies.

My pushing (in retrospect very wrong) my life partner towards our – “going west” – in May of 1989, around the time of my son’s second birthday, related significantly to my hopes for connection in the Bay Area (and California pro-feminist men’s community of that day). 

Bob – was my lifeline in this part of my journey!   He was the one “success” (or so it seemed) during a very challenging part of my life!

Bob and his daughter (a little older) are at The Grand Lake Theater, for B’s (my son’s) first (in person) movie.  It was The Little Mermaid.  I’m guessing Bob and his daughter enjoyed the movie.  Several minutes into it, B began yelling: “Turn Off The Video!” – and we departed.

I was Never Bob’s best friend.   He meant a lot to me until roughly 2001 when our relationship ended most abruptly.   In retrospect, I wonder, and I will always wonder – what it was – and related to that I explore who I am, a process, in motion, moving (mostly) forward.

We got together roughly monthly.  I drove to his apartment.   We ate cookie dough together.   Bob had had potentially fatal skin cancer.   This necessitated our time not being heavily “outdoors time”.    In the end outdoors time resulted in the death of our relationship.

Bob’s attire aptly represented him!   His shoes were always matching in brand, but never in color!   If one shoe was blue, its “mate” was always Not blue.

In 1995 Bob let me spend a weekend in the part of his apartment with my lover, the “sexual dream”, of my life.   Our time together that moment in time was magical.  In retrospect it was the last wonderful time she and I had together.  See:

Hard talk - getting real about erectile dysfunction - WUNC - NPR - NC - I, George, was interviewed about my journey with my erectile dysfunction - hoping men - will be "out" and communicate with each other/me

if curious, and wanting to know more.   As I am wont to do: It may be TMI.  I do welcome dialogue with anyone for whom this is relevant and open to allyship and/or support/and/or connection.

With my Granddaughter- A Few Years a=Ago

Fast forward to roughly 2001.   Bob had taken on a two year commitment to a very challenging and stressful work position, that contributed to the neglect of his body.   His weight had risen from roughly 220 pounds to close to 300 pounds.  His mother, someone very dear to him, had died a few months earlier.  He was vulnerable.  He was hurting.

I had won three excellent tickets to a San Francisco Giants baseball game.   I invited Bob and he his invited his best friend.

Bob came back from the concession stand with a pack of four Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.   (Tears are coming to my eyes, not a rare occurrence these days, when feelings arise – related in part to me being autistic.)

Bob offered each of us a donut.  We declined the invitation.   Bob ate all four donuts in succession. 

Subequently, I sent an email to Bob.  I was totally sincere!  I wish I hadn’t sent it.   It was written and sent out of concern!   It resulted in Bob’s abrupt “farewell” (where the “well” doesn’t belong)!

Bob responded relatively briefly once or twice.   He expressed hurt at what I had said!  He spoke sincerely!

We never talked on the phone again!   I never saw him in person again!   I apologized numerous times in various ways.   Eventually I decided that though I had obviously caused harm, there was much, much more to what had happened between us.  It went well beyond my (key) email!   It was a part of Bob’s divorce from me!

Yesterday – it was over!   In a sense it ended in about 2001.   In reality, any chance for reconciliation ended with Bob’s death a year ago.   I found out about it through writing a snail mail addressed to where he had lived.  

I’m guessing that either Bob’s life partner or his daughter was the one who anonymously responded to my letter with a simple death announcement also within a snail mail letter that I opened yesterday upon return from hearing Teddy Swims sing in San Bernadino County last weekend (most enjoyable).

Death has been a major part of my life!

1.)  My father (Menachem) Imanuel Marx died on Friday, the 13th, when I was thirteen.  He was 46 then.  I’m almost 73 now.

2.)  Depression was my middle name for much of age 18 through 2017 (age 66).  Looking at my mortality brings reflection and hopefully some growth after 48 years of significant pain!

3.)  Many years ago (tears again), a good friend, and ally told me a brief story.   She told me that I had been the first non-family member that she had called upon the death of her father.  He had taught me.  He had in a small way been a mentor and a father figure for me.    We were Dramatically different from each other in Important ways!   I’m crying reflecting upon the love he gave me.  I’m also very, very much appreciative of his daughter, who I first met as a young child.

Age 62- Seattle

4.)  In 2012, I began The West Lafayette High School Memorial (blog) – which if curious you can see at: .  I spent a lot of time building it up.  It is part of my death.  It means a lot to me.  I do care!  I am grieving!

There is much more!   I will explore this as I write subsequent episodes of this writing!

Thanks Bob!   I will (probably) never know more about you.   That is a life lesson for me.  I will live with both the fond memories and the sadness at the ending of our relationship.

Neither of us ever really knew each other!   I wasn’t ready for a meaningful friendship/relationship, though I tried!

Rashida Tlaib + Two Georges - December, 2023



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