I am being assigned a new senior "friend." Provided my latest background check comes up clean and my references don't reveal a hitherto unsuspected penchant for elder-abuse, by this time next week I will have met an elderly woman in the East 50's with a distaste for conservative politicians and a love of modern art and 19th century opera. I don't yet know her name, but have a sneaking suspicion that in terms of Jewishness and vintage it won't be too dissimilar to my own.
I sort of pity this unnamed woman for the weight of expectation already resting on her frail shoulders. She think she's signing on for an hour of conversation a week; little does she know I have her pegged as my Salvation.
After Anthony (my last friendly-visiting friend) died, I hesitated to ask for another. Not merely because it seemed disrespectful, but also because I thought it would be unfair to form a connection with someone and then kill myself, which was what I had ever-present in mind at the time.
I'm as low these days as I've ever been, but fighting it's much better. And I have great hopes of gaining Perspective and Wisdom and Friendship from someone who's Lived Life. And it's all very unfair and quite preposterous.
I should also know better. Anthony was a lovely person, but Tuesdays with Morrie this was not. My total ignorance of cars was a constant disappointment to him, even though he was very polite about it and listened to my stumbling readings from Car and Driver with good grace. (He'd been an automotive inspector.) Mostly, we watched TV. Sometimes we listened to the Andrea Bocelli CDs I gave him. I don't know how much he enjoyed it, actually.
The social worker says that this lady and I will be "a perfect match." I feel like a lousy ambassador for youth, but if we both moderate our expectations, maybe it'll work out. I'm learning that this may be a big part of being in the world. So she, at any rate, will probably already know that.