While stationed on a ship at the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia, I had an apartment off base. It was a small, furnished apartment over a garage next to the landlord’s home. The apartment was not that great but it was cheap, close to the base, and gave me a way to get away from the Navy while the ship was in port. The landlord’s were in their 80s and the husband had some dementia so I usually made the rent payment to the wife. I lived there for about two years, keeping the apartment even when I was out on the ship for long periods. When in the apartment, I spent a lot of time sitting in a recliner in the living room eating, reading, and watching television.
When I was moving out of the apartment in preparation for a transfer, the old man was in the yard and stopped to talk. His mind would wander, so he did not remember that I was in the Navy. When I mentioned it, he said the tenant before me was an old retired Navy man. He said no one had seen the man for a while so he had gone into the apartment to check on him. He said he found the man sitting in the recliner—dead—he had been dead for a few days. He said that it took them days of cleaning and deodorizing to get the smell out of the recliner. That revelation really made my day.