SOL 23 – Evenings

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Left school for a monthly
5:30 quick tune up at the chiropractor
I could go to one near my home
but his new office is out closer to my folks
so I usually make it a habit to pop in afterwards
or take them out for a meal

I arrive in a parking spot 5 minutes early
my phone rings
an eager college aged receptionist wants to know
if I want to reschedule
Turns out I am actually 25 minutes late

I am just outside the door
I go in
It all works out

I make it to my folks 5 minutes after 6
mom is at the door
I go in
dad is putting new batteries in his hearing aids
his hands shake but he manages

I present to them a video on my phone
that my sister who turns 44 on Friday
asked me to show
It features seasoned swimmers aged 86, 89, 92 and 93
breaking a world record for the 200 meter freestyle relay
They like it
but there is no talk of being inspired
I let it go

Mom is out the door first
so I take advantage of our brief alone time
to ask how she is doing
He says better
He is the one who is officially sick

Outside they briefly bicker as usual
that the other should get the front passenger seat
while they sit in back
dad wins

We venture to the newish burger place
as they suggested
after repeatedly telling me we can go anywhere
The table is at the window
The table is a mosaic of a Bazooka Bubble Gum wrapper
dad gets a salad, mom a burger
she gradually gives most to him
suprisingly she does eat the fries

mom talks to strangers
I briefly feel fourteen again
mom talks to more strangers
yet she does not want to visit the senior center

It is colder outside
I turn the heat on
and eventually pull into the driveway
Goodbyes are said and unsaid
They go in
as they did the first time in 1973
I let it go
It all works out





  1. Always an adventure and not a dull moment when spending time with parents. I think through your writing, so much is said and unsaid.


  2. It’s not easy seeing parents age and illness invade their lives. Good for you that you can enjoy time with them (even if you feel like your fourteen). As an older parent (not quite OLD yet), we so enjoy having a phone call, a text, a visit out of our children’s busy lives. Great slice. Thanks for sharing.


  3. “They like it, but there is no talk of being inspired.” Why is it that different people can all like or enjoy seeing something, but only some are moved to action. Or is it that some are never moved to action, by anything. Or is it a stage of life? Was your sister hoping your parents would take up swimming?


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