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2003-11-05 - 10:45 p.m.

Just found out that a photographer at the newspaper I used to work at has died. He was no older than 30. One of the most pleasant people I've ever known. He had great tattoos, all over his arms. Former army guy. Really good photographer. I'd always snatch him up first, before anyone else could get him for their stories. Always inventive. He drank a lot of coffee, always with a cup from Royal Farms in the mornings, and I'd see him, maybe four or five times a day, walking back into the office, camera gear slung heavily over both shoulders, but he'd be cradling that coffee in his right hand and thought he had to open heavy doors and negotiate desks and nervous editors, he never let a drop spill.

With my grandfather two weeks ago and Elliott Smith a day before that, what's happening here? Nothing for 26 years and then triple-wham. It's hard not to see connections, even if I don't want to.

Crap. He really had great tattoos. Steve, walking around the office on the balls of his feet, touching up the lead photo for tomorrow's front.

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