Yesterday my father and I stepped out of our flat on Russian Hill in North Beach to walk down the hill to have lunch at a nearby Afghani Restaurant. It has been a dream of his for a while to go have their lunch buffet, and although he attempted it last week on his own, he found it closed. He made the mistake of assuming it was closed because of the massive crane that was up on the hill directly behind the building. So we decided to try again and walked down the three flights of stairs and down the street toward the restaurant.
Normally, for me, this is a 5 minute walk, but no matter how slowly I walked, I could not keep pace with my father. I had to stop every few feet and wait for him. My father has spent his entire life walking around this city, and it is a little disconcerting that it should be so difficult now. I remember when he first began slowing down; it was several years ago, and seemed to contain itself to the hills. However, as he has aged, so has he slowed. It is almost like a battery running down. Rue the day that he can no longer walk.
The restaurant was closed permanently, it seems they have moved locations, we won’t be going to the new one. Instead we went to a Chinese restaurant next door, which although it was a Hunan place, it was not so hot. My father took the bus home. I walked back home, stopped first at a couple of stores, and was still home at least 15 minutes before he was.
He’s a slow ol’ geezer, but I love him.