I wasn’t at work more than an hour when a nurses’ aide came to the nurses’ station and told me a man was waiting on the bridge to see me and he had a rose in his hand he wanted to give it to me. The “bridge” is a walkway above Eighth Street that connects the main hospital to the geriatric wings. I got up and was sure it was Kelvin. I had already decided I wasn’t ready to see anyone for awhile; the pain of losing Bill was just too much for me to handle. I got up and met him in the door way of the bridge and he handed me the rose. He wanted to know if I would come by the apartment after work and he would have a steak dinner waiting for me. I hesitated but thought how good that really sounded because when I got home I would not eat anything and would just watch the shows I had taped and go to bed. I finally agreed and said I would.
I got off work after a typical night, tired and looking forward to a meal at Kelvin’s. I climbed the stairs to the upper floor and knocked on the door. He had been waiting for me. He said he was glad to see me and offered me a plate with a large steak and said the baked potato was coming right up. We talked and laughed. I hadn’t had reason to laugh in a long time. Kelvin had a good sense of humor. We talked about his mother in California and how he had hitch hiked all the way to his Grandma’s house in Saint Joseph from Sacramento, California. He had many exploits before ending up in the apartment he was in now. He couldn’t work but had filed for disability because of his leg. He described how he had been turned down and had to go to court, when finally he brought his Doctor to court with him who told the court if he does any physical labor for long periods of time he would eventually have to have the leg amputated. He had Kelvin show them his scars and told of the bolts and screws he had to put in his knee and above the thigh to keep it a working and useful limb. When Dr Smith got through talking he was granted disability and back benefits.
Kelvin couldn’t drive of course; he had had his license taken away when he had had his accident. He had been drinking and suicidal. His ex wife was flirting with other men and had made it plain that she no longer was his wife and wanted him to leave the bar because no men would talk to her while he was there. He was mad and left the bar, drunk and lonely. He was driving about ninety miles an hour when he slammed into the telephone pole on Karnes road, then another before the truck turned over in the ditch. He went through the windshield and started crawling out of the ditch and into a cornfield where he collapsed. He said the paramedics had to revive him numerous times before he got to the Emergency Room at the hospital. The Doctors said they may have to amputate the leg because it was crushed and unrepairable, but if he would sign consent they could do experimental surgery and try to save the leg. He was emphatic to say the least about not cutting off his leg.
We talked and reminisced about what had been going on in our lives up to that point. He had a daughter with his first wife. They had named her Vallie after his Grandmother. He also had a daughter, Shelby, from his girlfriend he had after he and his first wife Diane, divorced. He had been using and dealing drugs in those days and had spent two years in a state penitentiary. He informed me he had just gotten out of a halfway house in Kansas City. His mother had sent the money for him to move into the shabby tiny space he called an apartment. The living room was not bigger than a closet and the kitchen was half that size, room enough barely for one person to slide into. I asked him if he would like to see my trailer in Wathena, Ks. He said he wasn’t supposed to go over state lines. He was still on parole. He decided to go with me anyway. I showed him the big kitchen I had and the Angora lop- eared rabbit I had in the spare bedroom. He didn’t seem to mind the poodle as Bill had.
Kelvin was kind and big hearted. He was funny. He’d discovered at a young age that he could make money selling Marijuana and that was the drug of choice. He had been caught one night at the very bar I had been frequenting almost daily now. He had been caught possessing with intent to sell and he had been sentenced to four years in prison, two in and two out. He had vowed to never smoke again and never ever to sell. The last thing he wanted was to go back to the state penitentiary.
>a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=B4Lz5MsiOcI &offerid=125531.10000145&type=4&subid=0">