Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I love men. Some of you know that I particularly love OLD men. There is something about their geriatric spirits that gives me sheer joy. Most are acutely sensitive, exceptionally charming, easily moved to laughter and truly wise. They like to tease and a few can be quite fresh. It’s easy to decipher though which are quite harmless and who needs to be put in his place. They will talk for hours if you afford them the opportunity and most have the most amazing stories to tell.

I’ve written about my dear old friend Mr. Ben before. In fact, Mr. Ben got his own label to make it easier for his fans to find him here. Mr. Ben acquired quite a following who still email me periodically to ask how the old guy is doing.

Family and friends had written Mr. Ben off months ago. His failing health had him with one foot in the grave ready to kick off at any moment. Mr. Ben, however, had other plans. He’s still hanging in here, still doing what he does best.

He has a home health nurse who comes in daily to help take care of him. Number One Son finally relented and hired a woman to help him handle his father. It only took a good month or so before Mr. Ben got the hint that he couldn’t play tackle and tickle with her whenever he felt like it. Once the two settled into a routine they became quite comfortable with each other. The fact that he frequently mistakes Nurse Patty for his late wife may also have something to do with his newly acquired timidity.

The last time I visited Mr. Ben didn’t remember who I was. But he was still has enchanting as ever, introducing himself two or three times as he told me what a beauty queen I was. His complements were knee deep, his stories just as engaging, and the man made me laugh like we were sharing old times. It was only as I was readying myself to leave that he remembered my name and questioned why I hadn’t been there to visit with him sooner.

I absolutely adore Mr. Ben. I also miss him very much. I’m hoping he’ll remember me the next time I go to visit with him. I’d gladly let him cop a feel just so I can reprimand him like old times. Time is slipping away too quickly and I know Mr. Ben is slipping away with it. I’m not at all ready to let my sweet friend go. I dearly love that old black man.

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