1. The elderly woman who has been trying to contact her father left a longish message yesterday. (Quick background: She thinks she's in her 80s and her father has the same name as the Loser.) Usually, the answering machine confuses her and she tries to talk to it, gets frustrated when there's no response, and hangs up, despite the Loser's clear outgoing message. This time she left a calm message for "Mom or Dad," and included her name and telephone number.
The pictures her alone in a comfortable apartment, sitting peacefully, when suddenly the urge to talk to her father, who has probably been dead for several years, bubbles up among tangled neurons and she reaches for a pad with the Loser's name and number on it. The Loser has politely coached her a few times to write "No, not this number" next to the number, but to no effect.
2. The Loser was going to have dinner with a friend who lives half an hour away and has been depressed lately. (Neither cares for football so watching the Super Bowl had nothing to do with this. There are mild weather concerns, but it looks doubtful that the streets will be bad.) The Loser was ready to go, when he got an email from his friend saying that on his visiting sister's advice (she's a psychiatrist) he was checking himself into an emergency psychiatric care facility for a few days for evaluation and treatment.
3. Yesterday, the Loser went to a funeral service for an old friend of the family's. About four years ago, he went to the same church for the female half of the couple who's male half's death precipitated the service. That time, he drove his parents, who have since died. The Loser stayed for the reception and spoke to two of the couple's sons and their only daughter, all of whom he had known when they were all children. After the service and reception, the Loser and a couple he's friends with went out for lunch. Two others who'd attended, a man and a woman, went also. The Loser thought he felt a spark between he and the woman, but she's far out of his league, being employed and good looking.
4. Another friend of the Loser's will visit tomorrow. He sounds troubled and says he is nearly broke. He and the Loser shared the same job and were fired together last summer.