You all know about Aw, An Old Man, right? Who lives across from me? The one who talks about death.
C'mon, you know who I'm talking about. Are we caught up? Okay, good. Well remembered. So the other morning, I was doing my meditation smoking a cigarette, and here comes my old (OLD) pal out the door, venturing onto the ice to get to his car. Now. As much as Aw, An Old Man loves talking about death, I had a feeling that he did not want to meet the choir invisible during this, the freaking holiday season. Plus, no one is getting a broken hip on MY watch. So the following conversation ensued.
Me: Morning! Mind the ice! Mind the iiiiiiiiiiice!!!
Aw, An Old Man: Well, I don't want to go out, but we have to do things, you know. I'm all alone, did you know that? My wife died.
Me: Yes…I did know that. You've only told me every single time I've seen you since I moved in. (that last part was to myself.)
A,AOM: Well, I'll take my chances!
Now. What would you have done? I, a relatively fit 31 year old woman, am watching a man who is easily 297 years old manuver around on what is the equivalent of an ice skating rink in his orthopedic shoes. What would YOU do? Right. So, we continue.
Me: DON'T MOVE! I'll HELP YOU.
A,AOM: Oh, Jantelle (again, not my real name, but that's what he calls me for some reason, and I don't have the heart to tell him) that's not neccesary! I'll be fine.
Me: STOP! In the name of God's feetie pajamas, I'll be right there!!! STOOOOOOOOP!!!!
I skiddle over on the ice, almost breaking my ass several times, and grasp him by the arm. I'd have asked if I could just tote him on my back, but I assumed that wouldn't really go over well.
Me: Okay! On we go!! (Please, pleaseplease don't let my atrocious lack of coordination kill this poor old man.)
A, AOM: Okay, Jantelle! Mind the ice!
Me: (me mind the ice? Your bones are made of lace, you kooky loon! Hell, back when I was drinking, I fell down all the TIME, broke who KNOWS how many bones. Actually, sobriety has done nothing for my coordination. Sigh.) I'll mind the ice if YOU mind the ice!
And on we blindly stagger. Through the courtyard, down the stairs, to the dumpster, and then to his car, where I watched as he deposited himself in the driver's seat before turning to leave. The whole endeavor took approximately seventeen years.
Me: Well, have a nice day!
A, AOM: Thanks, Jantelle! I'll be sure to holler for you if I need help getting back in the house!
Me: (well, that would be just divine. A man as old as Moses hollering from the parking lot to me, using a name that is NOT MINE, no matter how much he believes it is, to take him back to his apartment, causing me to lose another seventeen years of my life.) Okay! I'll keep an eye out!
From Paraguay, where I am now thinking would be a lovely place to secretly move.