Vee and I were out and about one morning last week running errands here in Covington, Kentucky when we ran into Bear, a friend and neighbor. He’s got one of those motorized wheelchairs and he can fly down the sidewalk in that thing like you wouldn’t believe. Vee and I just take our time. Lately, Bear’s taken to laughing at us.
“When are you gonna get rid of that thing and get a chair like I’ve got?” He’ll say. My reply is usually, “We’re slow but sure.”
The day after I ran into him, he knocked on my apartment door, told me about a guy two floors up from me who has a motorized wheelchair for sale—$300. I told Bear I may look into it.
I decided not to. There may come a day when my legs no longer work at all, but for now, they do—again, slow but sure. I’m gonna keep walking and using a cane and/or Vee for as long as I can.
I forgot all about Bear and that motorized wheelchair he wanted me to look at. Apparently, he didn’t. Last Saturday morning, when I was working at my writing desk, there was a knock on my door. Looking out my peephole, I saw a man sitting in a wheelchair. I opened the door.
I didn’t know the man. He said, “I heard you’re interested in getting a chair like this.” He pointed at his wheelchair. I couldn’t help but notice he was slurring his words a bit.
“Bear most have told you about that,” I said.
“Yep,” he replied.
“I’ve decided I don’t want to get one right now,” I said. “I need to keep walking and staying on my feet for as long as I can.”
“Oh, I can walk too!” the man said. He stood up and almost immediately, a pint of vodka fell out from underneath his shirt. He looked at me for several seconds before bending over to pick up the bottle that had fallen to the floor. When he did, he almost fell over himself.
“Be careful,” I said.
“Yep,” he replied.
“Feeling a little thirsty this morning?” I asked.
“Yep,” he said again.
He got back in his wheelchair and started rolling to the elevator. I closed my apartment door, locking it.
It wasn’t even eleven o’clock in the morning when that pint of vodka fell out from under the man’s shirt. I don’t really care what the guy does. I mean, it’s his business if he wants to be drunk that early, but do I want to buy a used wheelchair from him? I don’t think so. I’ll just keep using Vee whenever I need to.
(Photo of “Vee” the walker taken by me)