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