Old Coot called late yesterday afternoon. He was very chipper. I asked how he was doing and he said, "Doing great! You know, I was her caregiver for a year and a half and it was very tiring for me. It's a difficult job...to be a caregiver."
"I'm sure it wasn't too easy on her either. Having to go through those horrible treatments and knowing that she was dying and all."
"Yes, but you know the old saying, 'let the death bury the dead'"
"Yes, I know that saying. It comes from the Bible. Do you know the rest of the saying?"
"Jesus said,'but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.'
"Oh. I haven't done that, unless you count looking out at nature and proclaiming how beautiful it is."
As per usual, it is all about him.
We chatted more. He had convinced her to take out a Reverse Mortgage on the home/property, so he gets to live there until he dies.
"I'm surprised she didn't leave it to her children."
"Why? It's none of their business."
Per usual come between wife and her kids.
"There were still mortgage payments and we couldn't live very easily with them. So we got the reverse mortgage."
"Did that work out well? I have wondered about reserve mortgages."
No I haven't.
"Yes. I put a new deck on the front and back, built a workshop for me...put in new walkway."
"Oh. You didn't put the money in an annuity to live on?"
"No, but with no mortgage payments, that helped with the monthly bills. You know I live in the present. No worries about the past or the future."
I see he got just what he wanted out of it.
I said, "I was surprised...really surprised, when I read that she was so involved in her church. She was a Baptist...you're an Atheist...how did that work out?"
"I went to church with her....a couple of times. She went every Sunday and while she was gone, I puttered in my work shop. She didn't preach to me or try and convert me...she knew that wouldn't have worked. ha ha"
Then the interesting part of the conversation began...
He said, "I was wondering...ah...I have a test for you...ah..just how young your mind still is. I thought it would be fun if we got together for a visit."
"I could drive down, we could go to a nice restaurant...not a fancy, expensive one...just a nice one...with good food. We could talk, then go back to your place and talk some more."
"Here's the test...to see how young your mind is...I could spend the night."
"Why? Can't you drive after dark?"
"Yes, I can drive perfectly fine."
"Well, I have no place for you to sleep."
"You don't have a bed?"
"Of course I have a bed. A lovely bed, with a four inch memory foam topper....that I share with no one but my two cats."
"I see. So you are like the "old cat lady"?"
I see what he is trying to do. Challenge me by inferring I am old and not open to new things.
"I'm eight years younger than you and just happen to have two cats."
"Oh. I just thought you were still young at heart and mind to be open to a shared bed. I wasn't proposing anything...well, you know...anything...just to sleep next to each other and listen to each other breathing."
oh, good grief! Does this mean that his "anything" still works? At 87 years old? UGH!
"Well, I am young at heart and young in mind, but...I am a lot smarter than you remember. Sharing a bed with ANYONE other than my cats, sounds like...not only a weird idea, but a stupid one. Something that would really mess up my content and stable life."
So that idea squelched, we chatted a bit more. Then he said, "Look at the time! We've talked for over an hour. It's six o'clock!"
"It's seven o'clock."
"Seven...no..I'm looking at the clock on the stove and it says six."
"We had a time change this morning. Daylight Saving time kicked in."
"It did? Why am I unaware of that?"
"I don't know...perhaps your mind isn't young enough to remember?"
Went right over his head.
"Do you realize how many clocks there are in this house. It's going to take me an hour to change them all!"
"Well, you better get to it."
"Yeah--we'll talk later...goodbye."
So--my psychological experiment continues. I think I have him hooked into thinking I am interested in his life and concerned about him.
Don't worry. I can handle Old Coot. Ten years ago, just hearing his voice would have sent me into a panic attack. Now...there is going to be some reckoning. Some more remembering to see, the what and why.
....because I don't have anything better to do and this is beginning to be fun..........