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Armchair Ponderings
The invisible man

Guy Geller

Donuts on Cake

A few months ago, when she was still alive, my wife and I were sitting in the local hospital waiting room. I was scheduled for follow-up tests after an earlier heart attack, but as usual there was going to be quite a wait. I don’t stick my nose in my phone as many do, but I enjoy people watching. Not being judgmental, but studying people.

I once read that we all, at one time, become invisible to the world. As I studied people in groups of five that day, I pondered which would be deemed as invisible. There was a well coifed lady with legs primly crossed; not her! Then there was a man in somewhat greasy work clothes, wearing a hat that undoubtedly stayed on his head and will throughout eternity. Not him! There was a sportscoat wearing gentleman probably in his seventies wearing brightly colored socks. He was visible. The little lady hunched over her magazine was the most likely prospect but I still saw her. The fifth person was I believe a man. But I remember absolutely nothing about him. Was that proving my point? I went pretty much row by row until my name was called.

To me, that did not solve the conundrum. The question remained, what makes us invisible and is that even a viable question? I can probably vouch for that fact. My wife and I had friends to go eat with; or even to go spend a little time with. Since she passed away six months ago, that has stopped. Evidently, she was the attraction.

Even though I am seven years older that the President of the United States, I can still carry-on a conversation without cheat sheets, about a multitude of topics. So when will I become invisible? Or am I already there? I no longer have visitors that we called friends. Once a week at church I do have a few people who come by to talk, specifically to me. My son checks on me almost daily, that is much more than many octogenarians in my living alone stage have, and I am thankful for it. I drive almost daily the fourteen miles each way to my daughter’s coffee shop. I am not isolated, but when people walk by me, they just walk by me. I seldom get a “good morning” even if I say it first. We must get over the fact that nobody knows who you are or even cares; other than our circle of friends and that is shrinking.

I have read about the “Invisible man” for several years, but never gave it much thought until it is coming this close to home.

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