It gets harder to make friends as you get older. Especially when you get to be my age — what I like to call “coot.”  The kids are out of the house and Donna has been gone for 3 years.  I had my soccer games up until a few weeks ago and my Euchre that I play with Donna’s brother, Jim, but I never did like him much.  The kids keep tellin’ me to join a group or “go online,” whatever the hell that means, but I don’t even have a computer.  My phone still has buttons on it, can you imagine that? I manage to text some, but it’s usually my kids, and they only text me back if they want something.  If Donna was still here, I know they’d come around more. Boy, do I miss her.

“I sure wish they’d put something more interesting on that television…” said the man sitting across from me.

Is he talking to me?

“I mean , really, we’re already here to get checked out, couldn’t we be watching something fun while we wait? Like the World Cup or something instead of how to manage the diabetes? Sheesh!”

The other coot was indeed talking to me. Well, I assume so, there was no one else in the room.

” You know, I agree,” I said.  “Did you catch that Spain v. Chile game yesterday? I can’t believe Spain is out already!”

“Awww, you ruined it for me! My kids TiVo’d it, I was going to watch it later today,” he said.

Now I feel like a nincompoop. And what the hell does TiVo’d mean?

“Bah, I was just joshing you, I saw the game already. And no, I can’t believe Spain is out. What brings you in here? Or am I prying? I don’t mean to pry, just making conversation.”

“Funny you should ask, ” I say, “I hurt my foot playing soccer. Haven’t been able to play in weeks,  I’m just here for a checkup.”

“Wow, you still play soccer? I’m impressed! I’m just an old coot.  The only thing I manage to do these days is walk up to the corner store to buy groceries for the old lady. ”

I smiled. Another old coot.

The door at the end of the room swung open. “Raphael?” said the nurse.

“I’m afraid that’s me.  It was nice talking to you.”  It’s a shame I have to go in now, I was just gettin’ to know the guy.

“Hey what’s your name? I’m Bill, Bill Hardwyn, glad to meet ya,” he said.

“Ray, Ray Rafalski.  Glad to meet you too,” I said as I shook his hand.  I followed the nurse into the room.  Turns out my foot is on the mend, I should be able to play again in a few weeks. Thank G-d, because I was gettin’ BORED.

On my way out, I noticed Bill was still in the waiting room. “Hey guy, you still waiting for your number to be called?” I asked him.

“No, Ray, I just finished up and asked the receptionist if you were still getting checked out and she said you were near done.  Was wondering if you wanted to go catch the Uruguay v. England game at the pub up on Ventura Boulevard? The English fans are always good for a laugh.”

“Sounds great, let me just check out with the office and I’ll meet ya in the lobby,” I told him.

Perhaps this friendship thing isn’t as hard as I thought after all.

*This super short story was inspired by two cute old coots I saw in the waiting room at the doctor’s office today. Don’t know if a bromance was started, but I kind of hope that there was.