When I pick him up there is only the cane at his side. The bike sails past us under his strong legs.He says he doesn't need the walker to go to breakfast. The amusement park is swallowed by his long strides.He won't take my arm as he shuffles into the pancake house. He sees her look and slowly presses the accelerator.
As always, he chats up the waitress and brags on the grandchildren.
He orders bacon (steak, alfredo sauce, ice cream) and a large cranberry juice (beer, vodka, scotch) and waits for the argument.
"Well, I had two outta three good eggs, but the one nurse (board member, councilman, manager) treated me like I was one of those Alzenheimers (college idiots, tokens, women), like I don't know how to manage my own illness (account, business, conflict). I told 'em I wouldn't participate in their bullshit."
As always, he brings the crisp grocery list, pushes the cart, folds the bags just so.
We drive to the dialysis center (concert, restaurant, coast) and he tells me about the harebrained scheme of the new town library (sidewalks, senior center, hospital).
As always, he jokes with the techs and accepts their needles with bravado.
Shooting from the hip. Whistling past the graveyard.
He sleeps, his blood flowing out of him and back in.