I walked into my building tonight just as the Monday night Bingo game was letting out of the community room. Clusters of little old ladies were scattered around the lobby, a slow drifting human obstacle course, complete with walkers and canes stuck out at odd angles, preventing me from getting to my final destination of the evening, my bed. As I walked by the security desk, I overheard some women congratulating my neighbor, Mrs. B, on her winnings of the evening. I stepping on the elevator and heard Mrs. B call out to me, “Hold the door, dear.” I like Mrs. B, all 4 feet 6 inches of her, so stuck my arm out across the left side of the door and waited as she hurried into the lift. Two more women behind her boarded and then I took my arm back. The three ladies chatted as we waited for the doors to close, and inches before they joined, I watched as the foot of a cane was thrust between the doors. The bingo players flapped and clucked and the cane retracted, allowing the doors to close and the elevator to rise.
The other two women got off on the sixth and thirteenth levels and Mrs. B and I started the final ascension to our floor. I offered my congratulations on her evenings winnings. She peered up at me through her cat eye glasses, flapped her hand in my direction and said, “Bingo! It’s such a boring game. Besides, I didn’t really win, I paid two dollars, I won two dollars. I only go because the old lady who runs it begs me to come each week.” The doors opened, she was done talking and we headed off in opposite directions. I walked towards my front door with a grin on my face, enjoying the image of 89 year old Mrs. B in her cashmere sweater set, calling someone who was probably younger than her old.
It’s nights like tonight when I really enjoy and appreciate the community in which I live. Mrs. B gives my life a little extra character and color, which I greatly appreciate.