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Tough times.

August 15, 2015

Photo on 7-28-15 at 3.34 PMSaturday. My friend woke us up this morning before 8 by ringing the front doorbell a couple times.
Feeling indignant, I went to the screen door and greeted him with “What’s up?” Said he wanted to show me a knife he made out of an antelope horn. Long time ago he gave me one he made the same way. He removed it from what looked like a pillowcase. It had a nice leather sheath. I was standing there in my pajamas without my glasses talking through the screen. I said (quite honestly) that I didn’t have any cash. He said he had tried to pawn his knife but nobody would give him any money for it. He said he just wanted to talk. I invited him in, unlatching the screen door. He sat in the overstuffed chair.
I didn’t have in my hearing aids and a half-dozen electric fans sort of roared in the front room. I asked him if he wanted some coffee, but no, he said, he had some out in his car. Anyway, I wanted coffee.
After starting a pot I dressed.
Turned out my friend had just wanted to talk. At least, I think that’s what he was after. Things have been going badly for him. He gets dialysis twice a week and other people at the center have recently died. Also, he has had trouble at home, although I wasn’t able to make out all of what he had been saying because of my poor hearing and the roaring fans. Something about unruly children that he is not allowed to correct.
He said he had nowhere to go, so he came over here to see me. I felt ashamed that I hadn’t been friendlier to him when I went to the door. Instead I had been feeling crabby about being woken up.
I couldn’t think of much to say. Well, I thought of lots that I could have said, like, you can stay here as much as you want, or, how about if I fix you some breakfast. So for a long time I just listened to him. He didn’t look depressed or sad, but he said things were going lousy.
He said he figures he will die in the near future, and he worries that his kids and grandkids will fight over his possessions. I thought yes, he looks kind of old. I peered at him. He is my age, but on dialysis, as I mentioned. He has gray hair and his skin does sag a bit.
At last, I thought of something to say. I reminded him that he had been through tough times before and he came through pretty good. I was thinking of his wives who had both died of heart disease. Also another time he fell off his roof and the times he had been hospitalized for long periods.
He agreed about the tough times. He said a couple of times he almost gave up, but he wanted to live for his kids and grandkids.
Finally he stood and headed out the door. I followed. He has a good looking new car. I admired it. He said he keeps it up because it is the last car he will ever own.
Then he drove off.

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