Heroic moments, not many. More of avoidance, like leaving immigrants to face immigration agents. Not so long ago that. More recently, I stopped by the old-age facility and left flowers and a note for an aging and injured friend. “Hey! Get me out of here!” a man yells from a wheelchair in the hallway. I know him: former Marine, senior-events athlete, roofer, AC installer. He leans in his chair. plastic bag full of meds and papers. I greet him, and leave. He yells, “Get me a cab! Call for a cab!” I ignore him. He’s strong-armed the chair’s wheels –  and is out the front door. Two church women, who come to sing weekly for patients, stare at me. “Look, there’s nothing I can do. I know him, but he’s here,” I say.

They believe me, and we go to the common end-of-life talk that sweeps these facilities.

 

I look back.

 

He’s in the driveway, still calling for me to get that cab.

 

I go past him, go inside and tell the receptionist that he’s outside.

 

She tells me aides are coming to get him back.

 

I go out, ignore him and catch up with the church women – more life and death talk.

 

I look back, and three aides have surrounded him, and are trying –

 

Looks gentle -to get him wheeled back.

 

I hear, “No! I’m not going back, a cab!”

 

I follow the church women, who are humming …

 

 

Eugene :Gene” Novogrodsky, early April 2015

 

 

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Gene Novogrodsky

Eugene "Gene" Novogrodsky, a Brownsville resident for nearly three decades, writes North American border slices, from eastern Canada to central Mexico, and in between. He is one of the founders of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito. He sometimes participates with the informal Resaca Writers Group in Brownsville. He prefers, however, to read to two or three attentive listeners - when asked!

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