Catch 22, 23, 24……

As time marches forward, those of us in long term happy relationships begin to have a new concern. While not often spoken about it’s a concern none the less. Ed and I got together the day after my 25th birthday. While you’re young you are always invincible and there are endless tomorrows to plan and enjoy. Then, as you get older, the uncomfortable reality begins to insert itself into our mindset that you may not live forever. My experience was that, scary at first, most of us generally move to a comfortable acceptance of our mortality. The second part of this realization is that the life of our significant other is also limited, especially as we approach our 60s and 70s. The idea that I could be the person left behind is terrifying because I can’t imagine facing my twilight years alone. Ed has generously promised to predecease me so I don’t have to worry about it anymore. That doesn’t mean we don’t have concerns about every grunt and groan we hear from each other. At our ages, the grunts and groans are plentiful. Something Ed does that is kind of sweet (and simultaneously a little creepy) is making sure my heart is still beating while I sleep. I am apparently a very quiet sleeper. From time to time I wake up during the night with Ed leaning over me – his hand on my chest – making sure my ticker has a beat.
I get out most days to take a walk as my concession to aerobics. I know that I have two hours max to get back to the house before Ed begins to be concerned. It’s not because I walk for two hours but he knows I’m a social person who talks to everyone I pass and makes friends easily. Yesterday I actually took a short walk and then went to Starbucks for a cup of coffee. I met a couple there that was from out of town. We sat together talking and they asked directions to the Dallas West End of downtown. I suggested the McKinney Street Trolley which is free, historic and travels to the West End. I took the couple to a trolley stop which was a few blocks away. Once we got there, I wished them well. They asked me to come along so they could buy me a drink (In my case a Diet Coke). I hadn’t checked the time but I knew I was still within the two hours and, ignoring the little inside voice of reason telling me not to go, I climbed on to the trolley with them. Fate was about to intervene which made my getting on the trolley a HUGE mistake.
The West End is a couple of miles from where I live so we were there in no time. We had our drinks and I said good bye to my new friends as they climbed into their taxi. I then scurried over to the trolley stop to find a sign telling me all trolleys were delayed because of an accident. I pulled out my phone because I knew I was now running late. I already had a text from Ed asking where I was. My phone had 2% power left so I quickly responded. I apologized for being late telling him where I was, asking him not to worry and that I’d be home within the hour. I sent the text and my phone almost immediately powered down. I waited 45 minutes for the trolley when I discovered the accident had blocked the rail and they had to clear the damaged car and repair the track before and other trolley cars could pass. My first reaction was to get an Uber. Without a cell phone that’s not possible. Next thought was to get a regular taxi but then realized I didn’t have my wallet with me and not enough cash in my pocket. I started walking. This area of town is littered with bicycles and motorized scooters available for rent. You pick them up where you find them and leave them at your destination. I took a look at one of the scooters but you had to insert a credit card – no wallet – so I continued walking. One of my legs started cramping so I ended up having to insert rest breaks into my walking. When I finally reached home limping and dripping perspiration it was time to face the music. When I entered the building, I asked the guy at the reception desk to call Ed and let him I was coming up. I expected to be yelled at for making him worry which is natural because of his Portuguese roots. However, it was much worse. His actions said everything was ok – his tone of voice made the opposite statement. It’s not pleasant to feel like I’m in trouble but I’m very happy that someone cares enough to worry about me.