JP Devine: Waiting for the wagon


October is here. Who knew that so many of us would still be alive?

We used to open the newspaper looking for scores, both sporting and political. Now these are the obituaries.

However, October, little discouraged by the numbers, continues to dazzle with color. Should we count how many of these wonderful days are left for each of us? No, too early. Christmas catalogs are coming.

I have my handwriting, thank the universe, with more stories to entertain and confuse you. And until the last vaccine fails, I have to eat.

While I wait for my last booster shots, including the flu and shingles, I, like most of you, need to keep my mind busy.

As the leaves fill my gutters, I wonder if I’ll end up like a real old person, sitting in a little chair on the front lawn (hidden of course), a blanket over my knees, an Irish sweater draped over my shoulders, binoculars and pencil in hand, taking notes for my new book titled “Bird Watching While Waiting For My Booster”.

Not a bad idea. Better than being on a bench by the ocean in Florida, handing bits of Big Mac to the seagulls.

Yes, you see more girls on the beach in Florida. Well you see more of girls on the beach in Florida.

She and I have never been to Florida. Fall in Maine would be missed. I have a nephew somewhere. He says there is no fall in Florida. The trees do not change color. People are doing it, given all this sunshine.

He tells me about a friend of his in a retirement home who has a part-time job, walking along the seafront, checking the old people on the benches. If they don’t move at sunset, he calls the “chariot”.

I enjoy him here sitting under a tree, throwing fries at the squirrels and waving to passers-by.

She, who watches me from her perch at the window, suggested that I buy a toy whistle to blow if one of these strangers got upset and came to chat, touch my hand, maybe give me a hug… and shorten my lifespan.

It’s hard to say, she says, which of them are anti-vaccine or only on their first injection.

A guy older than me, six baskets from me in the market this week, claimed he had two vax. His wife risked us by telling me it was just flu and shingles vaccines.

On the advice of older neighbors, I tried shopping early in the morning at senior time. It can be boring. The checkout lines take an hour to pass.

“No sir, it’s not a Visa card, it’s your vaccination card.”

It’s way too early. Friday I tried again and while waiting in the car for the doors to open I took a nap. About 30 minutes later, an old woman in an electric shopping cart banged on my window with her cane and shouted, “You are in a handicapped space!” “

She is looking at me now from the living room. I’ve taught him over the years that when a writer sits staring out the window, don’t disturb him.

“Even though his eyes are closed?” “

“Yes, that’s a deep reflection. “

“Well, if you don’t move before dinner, I’ll call the ‘wagon’.”

I regret having read his first drafts.

JP Devine is a writer from Waterville.

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