gall and gumption

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dr. George M. "Jamie" Astaphan



At X's beach bar in Frigate Bay, in early 2003, with his usual poison, soda water. The bit of arm showing next to him belongs to me -- that's as much of me as I can show without revealing my incognito (such as it is) and and rather too much bra strap. Six months after I arrived in St. Kitts the rumor mill said we were having an affair. This, and other fantastic tales about me, may still be circulating there for all I know. Didn't have an affair with him, wasn't tempted. Nor was he. But I did grow to love him, and whenever I talked to him I always felt happier. He was my doctor and he was a very dear friend, a funny, funny, kind, brilliant man with a loving heart.

He died at age 60 on Friday August 18. The world seems a stupider place without him.

22 Comments:

At 10:39 PM, Anonymous caroline said...

Shit! I liked him. I remember him taking the stitches out of your fingers after you fought off that intruder. You and he sat in his little office in the back and chain-smoked while chatting and grousing and generally having a good time. How the hell did he die?

 
At 11:19 PM, Blogger Kia said...

Heart attack. He was fun, wasn't he? It was the stitches in my ear that he took out that day. The ones in my finger were totally gross and he had taken them out the week before. And we never smoked more than two cigarettes on one of those visits.

 
At 11:26 PM, Blogger Kia said...

But yes it was after the intruder attack. I remember the two of you laughing, and that the stitches were sort of stubborn. I am glad you got to meet him; sometimes I think people don't believe this stuff.

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous leigh said...

Stitches in fingers and ears, ow. Intruder. Fighting off an intruder.

Sixty seems young, now that it is just a little over a decade away for me. I am sorry for your loss of a good friend, one who stitched you up.

Nice shoulder, Kia.

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Kia said...

In the interest of accuracy Jamie didn't stitch me up -- some guy at the emergency room did that (it was the middle of the night). But Jamie took them out for me.

 
At 6:46 PM, Anonymous caroline said...

Oh yeah, I remember it was your ear. That was gross too. That was a small room with no windows and you did too chainsmoke and Jamie complained about some nurse practitioner person who was steering patients all wrong. I remember him as a good friend to you, and one of the only somewhat sane people on the whole island.

 
At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys, I am one of Jamie's siblings. I was happy to read this, made me feel better, thanks.....

 
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