Thursday, December 2, 2010
When my dad retired from the railway in Lotus City,and he could no longer garden; but before he was anchored to the apartment by an oxygen hose,he did volunteer driving for the housebound! He was getting on a bit however, and found driving in the city a bit tense. He would drive elderly or disabled people to the doctor or dentist, or for treatment to the hospitals. Wait for them and drive them back. He had not much else to do so he was content to wait for them. My dad was not a reader but he enjoyed engaging others in the waiting room in conversation since he was never shy! He was given to frequent expostulations in his conversation generally. These were never scatological nor sacramentally incorrect but were provided with some passion nevertheless. His routine passionate epithet, prefacing remarks, was "By Dad!". Certainly beyond criticism! One day in my office I was visited by an elderly woman with a hip problem. At the end of our consultation she volunteered that she knew my dad and that he was often her volunteer driver. She said, "He's quite a character!" I agreed. Then she observed that when he drove her to an appointment he was frustrated with other drivers passing him and and bumper hugging. She said he would mutter, or sometimes yell, "You jackass" ,during the trip. I said, "I know that. He drives so slowly that people pass him abruptly and he is nervous. It's his word! We know it well." "Well ", she said, "I like your dad a lot but one day I was very late leaving the apartment and he was waiting for me a long time. I just knew when I got to his car he was going to call me a jackass." "He would never do that!" I said. "You're right",She said, "He just smiled and said he hoped I was feeling well." I can see my dad now in my mind's eye, trying to remain useful,tense with driving, but enjoying the company of fellow strangers, staving off the eventual time of relative immobility,fighting the feeling!