Went with Dave San and John Blue last month to sit in while John interviewed an elderly, purple heart decorated war vet. He lives in a slightly run-down block of flats, all rooms honey-comb screened to keep the world outside.
He is a gracious, eloquent, lonely man with an interesting life story, estranged family and a few conspiracy theories to boot! He was once the PR man for Australian actor Tony Brady and has the biggest collection of videos / DVDs I have ever seen, cramming the walls of his small room and overflowing from boxes in the community room.
As we were standing on the pavement outside the building reflecting on the massive amount of information that John had received, a large, grey-haired lady suddenly spotted Dave; the pleasure of recognition lit up her face and beaming, she rushed bustling towards us. In her haste, her thighs rubbed together in tight, elasticized nylon pants as she hurried towards us.
Unencumbered by social norms, she flung her arms around Dave, kissing him joyously as she enveloped him in a close embrace. She turned her attention to me, greeting me demonstratively and wrapping me in a binding hug with a warm, wet kiss to the neck.
Greeting rituals exhausted, she produced two watches, one silver and one gold coloured – both perfectly in time at 16h07 – but with date and month out of kilter. She simply asked us to sort them out; we tried unsuccessfully to correct them with the delicate manual winders before offering our apologies and giving them back.
She spoke excitedly, childishly, eager and uninhibited; not needing the personal space barrier for her comfort – she stood close, her mouth not quite closing and I was aware of her amazingly shaped lower dentures as she talked.
Abruptly, she changed focus and drew our attention to a helicopter visible in the distance atop a hospital roof, telling us that the helicopter takes people up there and drops them down into the street … something about a lift too, before she headed off amiably down the street towards a distant figure, happily lost in the theories of her world.
John, thanks for sharing, it was so great to have been there and seen you guys at work and Dave, you are a gent to welcome the unsolicited embrace of a happily disturbed elderly lady!!