by cheri block sabraw
Joe and I met at our usual time and location (11:30am at the Elephant Bar) last week to catch up on our summers.
Approaching 80 years of vigorous living, Joe’s knee and hip need some oil. And after fainting at the A’s game, the doc told Joe to drink more water.
Oil and water don’t mix, Joe, I teased.
Joe doesn’t complain about his aches and pains, disappointments and heartache.
But I see him wince, trying to slide into our usual booth, the one close to the bar and away from those annoying palm-leaf fans the Elephant Bar uses to create an African motif.
Some elderly couples, out for lunch, sit across from us.
Nice people, they look like.
So, baby, how’s the Bhagavad-Gita coming along?Did you read that article Man vs. God in the Wall Street Journal, that rag of a newspaper? Christ, did you read about that guy who called Obama a liar?
Joe tends to clump questions.
The Bhagavad-Gita is an amazing piece of writing, but so full of heavy-duty one-liners that my progress is slow, I answer.
The waitress appears. Joe asks her if she’s having a bad day and suggests that she looks edgy.
No, I just have too many tables and was up late, she says, without taking umbrage to Joe’s direct and unnecessary observation.
Joe is the real deal.
He is vital.
Joe is in the mix.
Still teaching, still out there—living life, despite his pain and aloneness—Joe is my hero.
I start my graduate program next Wednesday and so will Joe.
I ordered duplicates of all the reading for him. Of course, he’s finished the first five assignments, (chores, as Joe calls them) and is ready to argue about what they might imply.
Joe and I are going back to college.
Hey baby, I need to be out of here by 1:00 because I have a teacher observation at Mission High School.
Joe is rushing me.
Joe is the anti-geezer.