Write on

Walking Stan home

Walking Stan home was often an after church duty of mine; one that I usually volunteered for. A city block was a long hike for a man Stan’s age. I’d say, “Stan how old are you?” His reply, “I’m 92, oh, but I feel 120 today!” I always made sure Stan’s hearing aid was turned on … neither one of us knew how to sign.

I often recall in church, when the battery was low, it would eek-out a very high pitched sound; mimicking an attacking Raptor from the movie Jurassic Park.

Most of the time Stan only heard what he wanted to hear, dialing out a lot of loose porous talk. On our walks Stan would ramble on about his favorite subject, baseball, the Mets in particular, or as I liked to call them, the door Mets. But I wouldn’t say that to him, I let him be the pitcher of his own mound.

We’d talk many a time about life and its hidden rifts; how each of our clamoring gods could snatch us by our throats and squeeze the shame from our senses … But as Stan often cited, that sort of thing only happens to weaker men … men who couldn’t harness their gifts.

Slow — slower — concise steps … steadily moving forward through the war zone of life, procuring to depart a fast paced world.

I shouldered Stan over the rough and challenging sidewalk cracks; where a foot could easily slip-shattering a faultless lie; he knew I would be there to catch him if he were to stumble or fall, and I’d expect him to do the same for me.

This piece was submitted by Bob Mitchley.

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