Night with B

We just came back from B's. He called us when we were just going out the door to buy food. His elevator hasn't been working for a week, and he was stranded outside his building. His downstairs neighbor (tenant) had carried him and his scooter down earlier so B could go out and teach. Now the neighbor was at Ravinia listening to B. B. King and B was at the foot of the porch stairs.

Precisely. We went over there and first saw the empty scooter. Then we saw legs behind it. He had fallen out and was lying curled up with his head resting on the first step to the porch. We got him sitting up and I brought him some food from upstairs. Meanwhile, I called my mother, who had called earlier. She said we should call the fire department. But they did that last week when K the Irregular, his evening and morning helper, got stuck in the elevator. The elevator repairman had come today but hadn't succeeded in fixing it, and didn't bother to call B to tell him he hadn't fixed it. B had called our friend D to come over and help but he was downtown at a concert. So we were thinking we would sit and wait with him until his tenant came back.

The Cubs had just won against Milwaukee and the lights of Wrigley illuminated the yard for a while. B's house is three doors down from the stadium. When the lights went out, L pointed to the bats careening around and we watched them fluttering and I could see why people used to think they were birds. I'd always heard of bats at Wrigley but had never seen them.

I asked B if K was coming, and he said yes, he expected her between 10:30 and 11. I asked if K's brother could come, because he sometimes does. I had never met him but asked if he might be strong enough to carry B upstairs. B called and about 20 minutes later the cavalry came riding up in a bike. With L steadying him, K's brother V carried B up two flights. He and L took the scooter apart and carried it upstairs.

And then we came home. I didn't know whether to weep or scream. I didn't do either. When I say to B, you have to move, you have to move into a building with multiple elevators, you can find a vintage one like the Wieboldt's by Whole Foods, you can live on one floor instead of two and make everything open and accessible, when I say that, I know I'm saying what I and others have said for over two years, and he knows he's heard me say it millions of times, but he and S have no intention of moving. They love their 100-year-old frame house with its three sets of staircases and garden (tomatoes, cukes, beans, phlox, peonies, apples). They love the hardwood floors they've had refinished and the walls that S has painted different colors over the years, and they love the two decks above the front porch. They love it all and don't want to leave. They don't want anything to change.