The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Health and Wellness

The old man winks at a woman on a stationary bike, the kind where one can sit upright with the pedals before them. He is pushing seventy, or pulling eighty.  He follows the directions of a twenty-something trainer toting a yoga ball. Our senior does vague squats, slight lunges, and ends with his back to the wall as though sitting in an invisible chair. Low reps. He keeps glancing at the woman on the bike.

Her hair is gray and pulled into a bun at the top of her head. She gazes at the televisions above her. One set features a cooking program that she has more than once scoffed over, making hand gestures of disbelief. After the sly man’s session is done, he passes her one more time, smiling in her direction. He goes to the lockers and returns with a portable oxygen machine. Not just any oxygen machine–but hers. He helps her to stand, he gives her some of his water. They chit-chat. She fills him in on the unbelievably decadent cooking show. They wipe sweat from their foreheads discreetly before he leads her slowly and supportively to their car.


lean on me, pistols, ruger

8 comments on “Health and Wellness

  1. suej
    July 13, 2013

    A gentle story, beautifully told….I love the way you write about small observed moments.

  2. hughcurtler
    July 13, 2013

    I agree with Sue. Beautifully done!

  3. joannerambling
    July 13, 2013

    What a lovely story

  4. lidipiri
    July 14, 2013

    Love your stories.

  5. la_lasciata
    December 23, 2014

    Makes me think of this-morning – or last Thursday.

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