Repartee

I met P., who is 78, at an evening German class I was taking.  He wore a long-sleeved sweater draped suavely over his shoulders.

There were some coincidences.  We discovered by a fluke of conversation during the course that we had both lived in the small village of Portrush, on the coast of Northern Ireland.  I was attending university in Coleraine and, decades previously, he was attending a boys’ school.  He was sent there from London during WWII by his parents.  While in London, he had seen a V1 rocket fly overhead and the RAF planes heading off to bomb Italy.

I ran into P. once walking around Lost Lagoon.  I joined his stroll – which went back past his apartment building. I was surprised to see it was the same building I had lived in for several years in the 90’s.  Another time, I asked him when he had first arrived in Vancouver.  “In the fall of 1957.”  he told me  “So did I…” I said, “at Vancouver General Hospital”. 

During that walk, P. told me he had needed a new prescription and just been to the eye doctor.  While waiting in the reception, he noticed a photo of the doctor, a man in his sixties, with a younger woman and child.   P. went into see the doctor and told him that he was having trouble seeing while driving.

“You shouldn’t even be driving at your age.” the doctor curtly told him.

 P. was angered by remark and told me, “I thought of that photograph and felt like saying – And you are far too old to be fathering a child!”

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