Old Guy

You know you’re an Old Guy when you wake up at four in the morning and realize the Attorney General’s latest move on behalf of Trump reeks of the Weimar. Having heard some first-hand accounts of the Weimar, because you are an Old Guy. The ensuing hours are no improvement. By the time you get up a sense of gloom and permanently shattered dreams barely propels you through the shower. There is some brief respite on the exercycle, the day’s major aerobic event being lightened by simultaneously watching an old James Bond film. But then it’s back to reality, rather dire reality, which has you belatedly rolling out to get a cappuccino and the day’s shopping at Canyon Market.

Being an Old Guy you are on intimate terms with all local retailers. Canyon Market chief among them, where you know both the goods and the staff and, in addition, the ways. Such as the provision of the day’s samples right by the deli counter, which run from 9 AM until about 1 PM. 

It’s only 12 noon, and the day is young even if you aren’t. So why not go for a little chicken tinga on the ever available tortilla chips on the sample table? Well, there is a reason, but being an Old Guy this escapes your reckoning. You do manage to spoon some of the chicken mixture onto a chip. But now you have a problem. The lunch hour queue is jamming the available wheelchair-turning area. Furthermore, having politely backed out of the way of foot traffic, your left arm, the one extant, is ever so slightly jammed up against the salsa display. So, yes you do have a chip full of Mexican chicken mixture, but no, you do not have the musculoskeletal options available to get this delicacy into your mouth.

Furthermore, being an Old Guy in a wheelchair, facing a queue of lunch hour professionals in their twenties and thirties, you feel ever so slightly self-conscious. The MO now is to get this fucking thing over with. Which means that you attempt to shove your little sampler hors d’oeuvre into a mouth that is slightly out of neuromuscular range. Which sends the goopy mixture right down your sleeve, right in view of onlookers.

That sleeve happens to be the one encasing your only working limb, which makes it rather difficult to wipe up the mess. You improvise, this being the way of persons quadriplegic. This involves making deft use of a paper bag that once provided a home for red onions. You cast out the onions, letting them roll about the shopping basket while you roll your sleeve about the bag. This eliminates about 50% of the food stain.

“Can I help you with anything?” This from a man getting an aerial view of your wheelchair misadventures, just behind you. You assure him no, that all is under control, even though you are lying. Things are not under control. The country is not under control. The future is out of control. And even your morning, which has now become your afternoon, is tumbling toward destruction. 

Nevermind, you can now distract yourself with rubbing your sleeve against a napkin while you make a final move. You approach the butcher at Canyon Market with a request from your home chef, vis-à-vis, wife. She wants to make something for a weekend dinner party that involves stuffed turkey legs. And, incredibly, you have the temerity to ask this harried man at the height of the midday rush if he can debone and butterfly (whatever that is) a turkey drumstick. The man tells me that he doesn’t even sell turkey drumsticks. Which leaves me greatly relieved, for in an odd way, or in a retired person’s way, these people are family. I see them virtually every day. And enough is enough.

I head next-door for an Old Guy cappuccino.

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