Rocky’s Not Lonely

I took Rocky home from Bayside Bar and Grill on Shore Drive. He was waiting in the parking lot when I pulled up. I put down the passenger side window.

“You Rocky?”

Long pause.

“Yoop.”

“I’m Brian. Hop in.”

When I saw my passenger’s name was Rocky, I expected a character. Rocky didn’t disappoint. He was lean, gray, and grizzled, with skin that looked used to sunshine. He wore shorts and a faded surf shop t-shirt.

He hadn’t entered a destination in the Uber app.

“So, where we going, Rocky?”

“Shixteen seven…shixteen seventeen. Sharonton.” At least that’s what his mumbled response sounded like.

I tried entering Sharonton. The GPS didn’t find a street by that name.

“Say it again, Rocky. What’s the name of your street?”

“Sharnintown. Sherrington. Sharminton. Drive.”

I tried a variety of spellings. No luck.

“Can you spell it, Rocky?”

“Yoop. S…S-H–” He waved his hand. “I gotchoo. No problem. I gotchoo.”

“You know how to get home?”

“Yoop. I gotchoo.”

I was doubtful, but I pulled out and Rocky led the way. He pointed out all the turns and filled in the time between by repeating, “Keep going.” I guess he thought I was considering stopping dead somewhere along the route.

“Shixty-five years old,” he said with a touch of pride.

“What? You’re sixty-five? You don’t look a day over sixty-four.”

He didn’t get it.

“Are you retired, Rocky?”

“Noop.”

It took a lot of questions, but I eventually figured out he owns a motorcycle shop with his son.

“Are you married?” I asked.

“Noop. Not married. Been a bachelor for thirty years.”

“Wow. Thirty years. I guess you’re used to it by now.”

“Yoop.”

“Does it ever get lonely?”

“Lonely? Why would I be lonely? I’m shixty…shixty-one years old.”

I pretended not to notice he got four years younger.

“I don’t know. Lots of people get lonely. I guess you like being on your own.”

“Yoop. Get to do what I want. I’m not lonely.”

“Okay.”

“Shixty-two years old. Why would I be lonely?”

“Okay, Rocky. I believe you. You’re not lonely.”

We turned onto his street. It was Sharrendon Drive.

He got out a bit wobbly.

“You gonna be okay, Rocky?”

“Yoop.”

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2 thoughts on “Rocky’s Not Lonely

    1. Thanks, Michael Ann.

      I feel that way all the time. Sometimes having only a ten or fifteen-minute window into someone’s life doesn’t feel like enough. I often tell people, “I want to just drive you around some more so we can keep talking.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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