We had parked just outside the hotel and I descended the ramp and made my way to the door. It's an older hotel and it doesn't have automatic doors. There was no one around to ask for help so I simply waited until Joe was ready to join me. Once in, I mentioned to the fellow behind the desk that there were no door openers. He nodded and said that the hotel was due for some renovations and that the door opener was on the list. OK, my mandatory 'by the way' conversation was out of the way.
After check in, I gave Joe the keys and asked if he wanted to join me shopping at a large store nearby. He was done with shopping, as we did some half way through the trip just as an excuse to get out of the van. I said I'd zip off and then meet him back at the room. He said he'd be at least ten minutes unloading the car. I laughed. I don't shop for 10 minutes.
So I went, along the side of the road, then across the road then down the large parking lot towards the store. I had a couple of particular things in mind, found approximations of them, bought them, and headed back. On my way back I worried that there wouldn't be anyone around to help me in. The wait for someone could be long. But when I rounded the corner I saw several people gathered around the door talking, having a few beer and smoking.
I rolled up, all jolly hockey sticks, and said, "Glad you are all here, could someone get the door for me?"
"For fuck's sake," said a bearded and bellied guy, "Don't they have a door button thing?"
:"No," I said, that's why I was glad to see you all."
He grabbed the door and opened it for me, quicker than his size or steadiness would have predicted. Another fellow said, "I'll go get the inside door." Perfect.
As I was going by the second guy, he reached out to give my head a pat, the first guy stopped him short by saying, "Geesssuss Frank keep your hands off him. He's a grown man in a wheelchair not a pet,"
I shouted out 'Thanks,' to the guy behind, but I don't think he heard me over Frank protesting that he was only being friendly. I didn't hear the conversation which continued on as I turned to head to the room.
But, my head, literally and my heart figuratively owe a debt to the man who spoke up.