This past Friday, June 26, I met an elderly gentleman. He wasn’t in the best of health, but he still seemed to have some spirits about him. I spent a few hours with him and, while he didn’t speak much, I still felt I got to know something of his personality. He definitely liked his V8, and his mood seemed to improve when I arrived from the convenience store with one just as lunch was being served.
Perfect timing to say the least, even though I had difficulty finding the convenience store in question because I don’t know Topeka, Kansas. In fact meeting that gentleman was the first time I’d ventured away from I-70 into Topeka. He didn’t eat much of his lunch, but he definitely enjoyed that V8.
I could’ve pulled up a chair and sat and listened to him tell me anything about himself he wanted to say. I probably could’ve filled several notebooks with whatever came from his lips. An opportunity unfortunately missed, assuming the opportunity actually existed and he was willing to share.
Instead we both rested, mostly contentedly in the cool room. The amenities on which we rested were hard and it was difficult to remain comfortable for long despite our best efforts. He shifted periodically, as did I.
I just observed him. He observed the room and whatever momentarily caught his attention. The sounds around us in the stale room along with my observances of him kept my mind occupied with darting visions of imagination, wondering not only what was going on around us, but also wondering what was going through this gentleman’s mind.
What kind of visions were running through his head? One can certainly ponder and speculate.
I’ll be seeing this gentleman again this coming Thursday, July 1. And while I liked the time I had with him, I wish I could say I am looking forward to seeing him again.
Late this past Sunday night, June 28, he passed away.