“I don’t know how it is that I landed in this particular dump, far from my native habitat that I once held dear. Strange outcome for a formerly well-known, well-regarded, and universally-courted person.
“Age and these damn tremors brought me low, put me at the mercy of my know-it-all daughter-in-law, Beattie. Thank God I can still speak. I was scheduled to be in the Northwest this very week, Seattle and Tacoma, studying the folkways of those fascinating (maybe not-so-fascinating, just jumped-up) entrepreneurs of the Internet. Those young guys too smart for any college who drop out and tinker on their own in their daddy’s garage with old radios, the odd nut and bolt and come up with doodads like IPhones and IPads and beyond. Who even knows? They’re out of my league. I just write about them. They give me a lot of information and printouts, and they’re eager to talk about it. None of these guys is stuck up or in it for the money. They’re usually just thrilled to pieces that they figured something out and love to talk about it.
“So what happened? I’m unpacking my suitcase on my way to see one of these megabuck boys to write an article about one of their new electronic toys that’s gonna be bigger than the IPhone when bamzam alicajam I’m flat on my back. The open suitcase falls to the floor to join me, and all I know is that something big, very big and bad, has happened to me and I don’t know what it is. When I wake up there is my worried-looking son from New York and Beattie.
“I finally register that that I’m in the hospital, that they’re very worried, and that something truly bad has laid me low. My son breaks it to me gently: I’ve had a stroke and I’m in the ICU.
“Well. The long and short of it is that I’m in Rehab til I can walk again. A lot of tottering around and falling til I get the hang of it, like I was just learning while of course I’ve had close to eighty years of using my legs on my own. It was humbling, let me tell you, but the beauty part is that dmy son Bobby stuck with me for weeks out there, and in a funny way it was a good time together and we got a lot closer. It’s a crazy thing to say, but when I was struggling just to sit on my bed by myself, it was wonderful to have him with me. He left his job to stay out west with me for almost a month.
“Now—end of story—Bobby and Beattie want me near them, so when I was able to travel the three of us got on a plane and got me here. I never thought I’d land in an old folks home, but I kind of like it. There’s one interesting guy here who’s been all over the world and has slide shows of The Netherlands, Abu Dabi, French Canada, you name it .
“Also, you can’t beat the rice pudding, and I’m a fool for rice pudding.”