My son helped me get up from the booth and made sure my hands were secure on my walker. He said we should go ahead and they would meet us at the door, that he needed to wait for his wife who was in the ladies’ room. I dragged the contraption across the restaurant carpet and my wife, carrying my sweater, followed. When my son brought the car up, we settled into the back seat and headed for home. We thanked the kids for dinner, said good night and went into the house.
Life to me is a disappointment. Not long ago, I enjoyed golf, even carried a six handicap, but now I can’t carry a damn thing. I had the stroke and don’t remember much after the paramedic clamped the oxygen piece over my face. The wife said she spent hours sitting by me in the emergency room, then got the good news that I’d have some weakness, but I’d be okay. I did the therapy thing, but for some reason, this all turned me old.
The wife and I live in a mobile home park and own a ‘low-profile’ coach. It’s easier for me with the walker not to have to mess with stairs. I guess I shouldn’t complain having to depend on that thing, but it sure slows me down compared to the way I used to be.
Our space is across from the golf course and I’m getting pretty good at figuring out what other golfers are doing wrong by just watching the way they address the ball and the way they swing the club. It bothers me, at times, when I watch others, that I no longer play with the guys. For exercise, I push the walker a couple of laps down the street, then sit on the porch and watch for golf balls that might hit me or the house.
The wife plays bridge every weekday afternoon, then at supper, she rehashes the hands she played, remembering who held each card. About the only thing I add to the conversation is “pass the salt” or “hand me the pepper, please” or “hmm, made six no trump.” I didn’t know what the hell that meant, but it pleased her.
The woman got a kick out of her hours at the bridge table and how could I compete with that? I sat in front of the TV and surfed channels from bottom to top and back again. I got tired of commercials and cooking shows, courtroom dramas and reruns of dumb sit-coms and that doctor’s “professional” advice. I wondered if people would pay attention to him if he didn’t have that phony, sickening accent. If anybody talked to me like that, I’d punch his lights out.
The news channels depressed me. The world was going to hell, and I could care less. I watched beach volleyball for a while and rather enjoyed the skimpy bikinis on those gals, but would have liked it better if they had bigger boobs. The weather channel came to my rescue and advised me when to expect clouds, sun, rain or earthquakes. I stared at the tube for anything that might change my life, but nothing did, not even Oprah. But why would I need others? Did my life mean as much to them as it did to me? I don’t think so.
Clarence Potter, Ralph Simms, Bill Reynolds and me played golf in the same foursome for years. We lost ol’ Bill last year and when we tried to find a replacement, it just wasn’t the same and we all lost interest. Then, out of the blue, Clarence called a couple of weeks ago and said we should try the senior center and see what it’s all about. He heard some guys say they go and have great times down there. I figured I had nothing to lose and he found disabled parking for me by the front door.
Inside, seniors were doing all sorts of different things. We were greeted by a friendly guy and he offered to introduce us to others, but we said we’d just look around for a while. We