He Died Carrying a Tray of Coffee
When I think about how Joseph Lunetta died on Monday, January 26th, the fact that he was struck by a van is front and center , as is the fact that he was on his way home to meet his friends. I am struck by the idea that given what we have learned about Mr. Lunetta from the Montclair Times, his thoughts were probably focused on the beauty of the morning. When Mr. Lunetta's untimely death was reported in the Thursday hard-copy edition of the Montclair Times, snippets of his poetry revealed more. It turns out that he wrote poetry---like so many others in Montclair, he loved the power of language. Based on snippets alone, we learned that he liked seeing “falling snow” and enjoyed “quiet mornings”.
We also learned that he liked coffee very much---and that he liked sharing coffee with his friends. In fact, the thing that sticks with me is that Mr. Lunetta died carrying a tray of coffee. Adam Anik's front page photograph captures the quiet pathos of how that gesture of goodwill was perverted when he was hit by that van. So many cups of coffee lying on the ground, for hours and hours, symbols of an ongoing investigation.
Now it is left to us to wonder how Mr. Lunetta liked his coffee. How much coffee he drank each day. Whether he needed coffee in order to write. By focusing on his life, his penchant for quiet mornings, snowy days, and drinking coffee with friends, we can envision Mr. Lunetta---and quietly mourn him and wish him the best.