Just Half a Cup – 15 August 2014

Posted: August 15, 2014 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




15 August 2014

Chuck was talking to a woman when I arrived. I heard him say, “Just half a cup. Thanks.” A few minutes later the woman brought him a Starbucks coffee.  With the lid still on, he swirled it a bit, “That feels about right.” Then he opened the lid,

“A bit too much. “I’m not going to be here too long. If I don’t finish what’s in the cup, it’s harder to dispose of.”

I asked, “So, is there any news about your new wheelchair?”

“No good news. I went there yesterday, because they said they had a white one in stock. Well, they couldn’t find it. They’re going to check into it. If they can’t find one in their stock, or somewhere in the city, I’ll have to wait until September. It’s really in the winter that I need it. I think that I told you that my bus has been rerouted because of road construction, that adds fifteen minutes to my ride. Instead of getting here at 6:00, I’m here at 6:15.”

I asked, “Will you be able to take your new chair on the bus?”

“No, it will be too big. I’ll be able to go everywhere on my own.  It has a heater, for the cold weather.  A larger battery so I can go farther, without a charge. I’ll be able to strap my walker to the roof, then when I get to the mall I’ll use that to get around. I’ll have disabled stickers on the front, back and sides, so they shouldn’t bother me about parking.

“There are a lot of people using those three-wheeled scooters, who aren’t disabled. I know a couple of them, they park across from the mall. They like to pretend they’re riding real motorcycles. They just hang out and drink their coffee. If they only knew how stupid they looked. One of them uses a cane sometimes, a wheelchair at other times, but when he needs to, I’ve seen him run. I don’t know what his game is.

“I was thinking about Joy. All these years of sitting on the sidewalk. Sleeping behind  dumpsters, getting wet. It only goes downhill. I’ve seen it too often. It took a couple of heart attacks for me to get clean I know she quit the crack, that’s great, but she has to quit cigarettes, pot, booze, eat properly and stay in a decent place. If not, she’ll go fast.”

I said, “I should be getting back to work, Charles… Did I say Charles? I meant Chuck.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ve been called worse.”

“I have a hard time remembering names.  I work with the woman that just walked by, but I couldn’t remember her name.”

Chuck replied, “I have the same problem. If I hear a story, I’ll remember it, but I won’t remember the name of the person that told it.  A lot of people get pissed off with me, because I don’t remember their names. They may have dropped me a quarter a year ago. I’m the guy in the wheelchair, they remember my name. They’re just a face in a crowd of thousands that walk by.”


  1. C.J. Black says:

    Always of interest – life can be cruel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Source: Just Half a Cup […]


  3. interesting story


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