Say Hello to My New Driver

The temperature outside this morning was freezing so the coffee lounge here at the retirement home was overcrowded. I stood in line at the counter and then weaved my way to where the gang was sitting, spilling most of the coffee on the way. I dropped into a vacant chair and looked around to see a new face in the seat next to me.

“I’m Sol,” announced the old guy on my left. “Been here for 10 years now. I’m surprised we’ve never met.”

“You must have come here pretty young,” I counter.

“Nope. I’ve got a 93rd birthday coming soon. I’m okay, just keep forgetting stuff.”

“I guess it’s your age,” I suggest.

He takes a wad of papers from his pocket and looks at them intently. “Oh damn, I forgot to go to the pharmacy to get our medicines. My wife’s gonna kill me. What’s the time?”

“Eleven-thirty.”

“There’s still time. I’m off to the pharmacy!”

“I’ll come with you,” I offer, jumping up.

He totters towards the door. “I’m taking my car! I don’t even know if you can drive!”

We climb into a battered 20 year old Ford.

Sol zooms out of the parking lot and down the street, slams on the brakes when he sees the white line at an intersection. “Damn, nearly missed that stop street, huh?”

“You got a drivers license?” I ask nervously. Did he say 93rd birthday?

“Just got a 3 year renewal,” he laughs. “Bunch of optimists working in the license department or else it’s a computer that’s lost its memory. I’m a computer man you know. Set up a whole system for the defense force but that’s a long time ago.”

“Wow!’ I say impressed and scared stiff as we narrowly avoid a tree on the sidewalk.

“Anyway I don’t need a computer to help me remember things. Where are we going?”

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