Jack shifted in the chair next to mine. His back was giving him trouble again. He should be taking the tablets the doctor gave him, but they rot your stomach, so he only takes them now and again. He can see the day coming when he’ll need them frequently. I think that day is already here. But Jack’s holding off till he really needs them.
He’s always pushed himself. He could work harder than any man I know. Even now in his eighties he’d run rings around men half his age. But he’d suffer for it later. He’d never planned on getting old. That was something that happened to everyone else. Nevertheless, old age had crept up on him—slower than most people, but now it was here. He’d still be working if it weren’t for his knees. He’d worn away the cartilage. Surgery was the only way to fix them. He wouldn’t have that, though. He was all original parts and that’s the way he was going to stay.
It’s time to leave. He stands slowly—you can almost hear the creaking. We make a joke about him needing more oil than his truck. He’s crankier now, constant pain will do that, but his sense of humour has not changed. There’d been a lot of situations in his life where he could either laugh or cry. Jack had chosen to laugh.
He’s still joking as he climbs into his little, old truck. He’s driven a truck all his life. They’ve gotten smaller and smaller over the years. This one hardly deserves the title. It takes a while to start and I don’t think it’s going to make it down the street, but it keeps going. Like Jack, it’s seen better days.