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Pete is 29.  Well, he is in his head.  I'm his girlfriend, even though I'm young enough to be his daughter.  Again, in his head.  I call him my platonic geriatric boyfriend.

I help him go grocery shopping.  Help him move when the landlord can't ignore the pervasive smell of weed coming from an old hippie's apartment.  I make suppers for his Friday supper club because his idea of a meal is opening a jar of pickled herring and washing it down with a bottle of Coke (always the small ones, and always glass).

He plays Santa Claus during December.  Private parties, stores, the children's hospital.  He's the original Jewish Santa...and I am frequently his sidekick as the world's tallest elf.  He is the first person I call when I have done something stupid (like quit my job) or have some joy to share.

And sometimes we go on dates.

Last Saturday, we went to see Joan Baez's farewell tour.  He called to ask me what I was wearing.  I reminded him he needed to bring his cane, because there is still a lot of walking.  He showed up very dapper with his eagle-headed cane and vintage Stetson.  We were quite the stunning couple.

We held hands and cried through most of the show.  She was my first concert at 13.  He roadied for her back in the day.

The there was the finale.  And, as the audience stood, Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" started to wash over the crowd.

Joan took a knee.  Her ensemble followed.  And, one by one, the people I'd seen in the lobby--many using canes and walkers--took a knee.  I'd watched Pete struggle to stand and sit through various ovations and whispered," I've got this for us."

He said no.

The man who can barely walk any more.  Whose legs have been shattered by war and youthful stupidity and age...took a knee.  Right next to me.

I had to help him up.  I have never been so honored.

Of course, he kissed me on the lips when we said goodnight.

The man never gives up.  About anything.

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
supergee
Oct. 6th, 2018 09:46 am (UTC)
This is lovely.
mac_arthur_park
Oct. 7th, 2018 09:16 am (UTC)
Thank you!
seaivy
Oct. 6th, 2018 05:11 pm (UTC)
fabulous!
a good time was had by all
and a great story
mac_arthur_park
Oct. 7th, 2018 09:18 am (UTC)
Thanks! Pete bought the dvd of her 75th birthday celebration, and we watched it together yesterday. It was lovely.
theun4givables
Oct. 6th, 2018 09:14 pm (UTC)
Pete sounds like he has a lot of life left in him, even if his legs don't want to cooperate with that. :)
mac_arthur_park
Oct. 7th, 2018 09:24 am (UTC)
Oh, he does. <3 And he loves life and all the pleasures it provides.

I've been working with him to find canes that he likes and works with his personal sense of style. I figure if we can make it fun, he will actually USE them and not try to go without and run the risk of falling.
eternal_ot
Oct. 8th, 2018 01:58 pm (UTC)
Awww <3 This is wonderful :) It's good to have such amazing people around. Cheers to that!
murielle
Oct. 8th, 2018 03:24 pm (UTC)
Pete reminds me of my very soon to be 92 year old friend who thinks he 23. :-) They are dears. What would we do without them!

Lovely story! And good for you for being there for him!
dimity_blue
Oct. 8th, 2018 04:13 pm (UTC)
That's lovely.
rayaso
Oct. 8th, 2018 04:14 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this so much! I would enjoy hearing more about Pete. Going to a Joan Baez farewell concert with a former roadie/aging hippie must have been special. Especially one who steals a kiss. Romance never dies.
tatdatcm
Oct. 8th, 2018 09:09 pm (UTC)
Pete sounds like quite a character.
bewize
Oct. 8th, 2018 10:12 pm (UTC)
What a sweet tale. Friends like this are hard to find at any age.
favoritebean
Oct. 9th, 2018 08:36 am (UTC)
I'm still so jealous that you got to go to this concert.
morettaallstar
Oct. 9th, 2018 01:18 pm (UTC)
This is just a lovely read, as well as topical. Well done.
halfshellvenus
Oct. 9th, 2018 07:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is awesome. What an adventure this friendship is, and how wonderfully you wrote about it. :)
flipflop_diva
Oct. 9th, 2018 09:18 pm (UTC)
This is lovely! Pete sounds like a great man. I'd love to read more about him.
alycewilson
Oct. 10th, 2018 11:35 pm (UTC)
In my mind I had already commented on this, which seems appropriate. This was a good read.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )