I escaped spending New Year’s Eve in the emergency room. My neighbor had a bleeding growth on top of his balding pate. Oh I can talk about him here – I’m 99 percent sure he won’t read this.
I love him. He’s eighty-something. He has a computer – he doesn’t look or seem to be the age that he is, but when you’re eighty-something, you don’t have time to troll the web for random blog sites. When he gives me a site address he says the entire www dot-whatever-the-hell-it-happens-to-be-dot com – cute!
I’m his secretary when he goes to Ireland. I mind his apartment, get his mail. I call him twice a week in Ireland to read it to him. Piece by piece. He gives me all kinds of instructions. I’m on the phone with him for an hour. Another elderly neighbor from Ireland used to mind his apartment for him. When she found out I was doing it she says, “Oh God bless you Sandee! I’m done with it — he thought I was his fucking secretary!”
When he called and told me that his head was bleeding, I ran down there. Turned out the bleeding happened during the evening. He thought he should go to emergency to check it out.
“I’ll get dressed and be back in half an hour,” I said – I had just thrown some slop on to run down there.
I felt guilty fluffing my lashes with mascara while he waited downstairs with his bleeding growth, but one half hour later exactly, I was ready.
I get there — he’s still in his robe, holding a tray of food.
“Come in. Have a seat Sandee,” he says.
What?! I almost choked wolfing down my food, and suffered guilt for putting on mascara, and you ain’t even ready — I put off my morning jog for you!
“Why don’t you just call me when you’re ready,” I said, and went up to change for a jog.”
I got back. No message. Haha! He did call — two hours later! Some emergency. I headed back to his apartment thinking, Maybe he changed his mind. Yay.
While he was dressed this time, he says all leisurely again, “Come in. Have a seat Sandee.” He sat in the reclining chair. I stood over his head to see the wound. It appeared fine.
“You’re not in pain?”
“No, it’s just the damn thing bleeding last night is all,” he says in his slight Irish brogue. He wasn’t bruised and wasn’t in pain. I suggested he wait till the day after New Year’s Day, when his doctor would be in.
“If an emergency happens in between, call me. But you don’t want to be going to emergency unless it’s really an emergency – we could be there hours.”
“Hours? Really?” He’d never been to emergency it turned out.
I had an angle then, while he still teetered on the idea of going.
“Yeah, trust me,” I said. I told him horror stories of the emergency room that we might see sitting in there so long and got him to change his mind. Brilliant! I’d seen some pretty horrible things in emergency, heard awful things.
He thought he’d be seen right away. Aha. Au contraire mon frère, I told him. When I was done with my horror stories, my buddy was turned off by the idea of going, and while I successfully angled for this to happen, I’m still taking brownie points. Dammit. But sure, I’d do it all again. He’s my buddy.