Thursday, September 24, 2015

Conversations with Random People-- Fourteen

BBBH* and I scootered (scooted?) to the supermercado.  Parked near the main entrance.  She went in to pick up a couple items.  I sat/leaned on the vehicle, not even bothering to take off my helmet.  Pickup parks in the handicap zone opposite, old man gets out, reaches back in for a cane.  Using the tripod cane he hobbles over to a nearby grocery cart, places cane in cart, leans on handle of same and heads my way.

He is a few steps from me.  I greet him.  "Nice day!"

"It is," he replied

"Say, tell me.  Does that Hurry-cane help you hurry?"

"Not really, but it helps keep me upright.  I have a new scooter-- 250 cc.  My grandson bought it for  my birthday when I turned 81 a few months ago."

"Really," I said.  "Bet that'll get up and go!"

:"Oh, yes.  She'll probably run seventy but I've only had her to 55.  I rode all my life, Indians, Harleys, the whole bit, but I am getting a little fearful now.  My balance, don't you know?  Hard of hearing, worse in one ear than the other.  Wonder if that has anything to do with it?"

"Couldn't tell you," I replied.  "I ride my bicycle a lot and balance concerns me, too.  Loud noises, like a siren, for instance, seem to almost tip me over.  Say, 1934 was a good year,  but you might be a bit older than I.  When was your birthday?"

"July 5," he said.  "July 5. 1934.  I was almost a firecracker.  Missed it by a day."
(I nearly fell over.)  I extended my hand.  "Some people call me Fizzle.  I was born July 5, 1934."

Well, we talked for a bit more, exchanged names and provenances; he told me his wife passed a year ago following a ten year battle with Alzheimer's.  BBBH returned from her expedition.  The two old guys wished each other well.

[Totally true.  This falls squarely in the category of You Can't Make This Stuff Up.]

*Beloved Beautiful Better Half


Ilene said...

You're not 81. If I will it to be so, then you are not. Though it is pretty amazing that you ran into someone who was born on the same day as you.

vanilla said...

Ilene, I appreciate the kind act of your will. You know the saying, "You only as old as you feel." Well, right now I feel 81.

Grace said...

Husband often gets a teeny bit annoyed because I will talk to anyone and everyone who crosses my path, or catches my eye. But it's fun and you can stumble into some interesting conversations. I never leave the house without my smile and I apply it liberally - strangers just make my day sometimes.

Secondary Roads said...

An amazing meeting.

Being an octogenarian, I suppose that means you are high-octane, super-premium. How cool is that?

vanilla said...

Grace, talking with strangers does sometimes yield very interesting conversation. My spouse does it, too. A lot.

Charles, I can only wish that I could put that sort of rosy-glasses spin on it. But I do appreciate the days I've had and of course look forward to more of them!

vanilla said...

Chuck, my apologies. I don't know where that came from unless it is that I was just talking to another friend who goes by Charles.

Lin said...

Oh, wow! That was cool.

I like to talk to strangers. I used to hate it when my mom did it when I was a I get it. Life is somebody new and share a story or a laugh. Hey, it adds some interest to the day and the outing.

Vee said...

Your life is more interesting because you interact with people you don't know.

I'm the introverted person in the family and just keep to myself. Coming home from shopping yesterday, I passed by Hubby who was walking on the sidewalk about half a mile from home. He couldn't believe I didn't see him and stop to pick him up. I saw the guy walking but did not focus on him and enough recognize him. Hubby would have run the car into the curb trying to figure out who the old guy was who was headed out to our area of the city.

vanilla said...

Lin, yep; there is a whole world of interesting folk out there and we know an infinitely small number of them. Talk to somebody!

Vee, I would have been so annoyed, even with the love of my life. Walking home from town yesterday and feeling as though I could not put one more step in front of the last, I actually hitched a ride. Begged a guy to let me crawl in the back of his truck.

Well, mine has been a seventy-year battle with introversion. Results have been like Jacob's cattle: spotty and varied.

Secondary Roads said...

No problem, my friend. I went by "Charles" until I was 17 and met Sylvia. She changed my name. Four years later, I changed hers.