Friday, February 22, 2013


The buzzer has never been used.  Geneva was almost in need of a Depends from the fright it caused.  The property manager had shown her how it works when first she moved in.  That was quite a few years ago.  No one had ever buzzed her, not even in mistake.  She smoothes the side of her chignon down and waddles over to the intercom.


“Good evening, Geneva.  I’m downstairs.   Should I come upstairs or wait for you here?”

Geneva smiles before pushing the intercom button again.  “And who is this?”

There is a pause longer than she expected.  Perhaps she shouldn’t have pretended that she wasn’t expecting Quincy.  Just as she was about to push the intercom button to check if he was still there, he responded.

“This is Quincy.”

“Oh, oh yes.  Quincy.  Please pardon that.  I’ll meet you downstairs in just a moment.”  She releases the intercom button giggling like a high school girl and grabs her scarf, neatly covering her perfectly pinned do.  “I shouldn’t be long, PomPom.  There’s fresh food and water in your bowl.”  She swings her shawl over her shoulders and tucks it in place.  “Don’t go out there and get in that nasty garbage!”  PomPom is resting in his usual place.  Geneva grabs her bag and keys as she exits her apartment, double checking that the door is secure.  As she turns to make way toward the stairs that familiar feeling of weariness has been replaced with anticipation of entertaining the friend awaiting her downstairs.  Quincy has promised to have a friend talk with her about the possibilities that are expected to be a part of the changes with ownership of the building.  At first Geneva wasn’t very convinced that it would be a good idea, but Quincy caused her to think twice about it.  With the help of his realtor, Geneva could get the jump on what options she has.

Quincy looks particularly nice this morning in a nice shirt and slacks.  He even has a new cane.  Geneva smiles as she tackles the last couple of stairs.

“Good morning, Quincy.  Hope I wasn’t too long.”  She pauses next to him as he prepares to open the door.

“Who would mind waiting for such a vision of beauty?”

Geneva giggles as she passes through the open door that he has held open for her.  “Such a gentleman!”

“Well, you’re quite a lady,” he smiles.  They enter the street and walk towards the coffee shop where they had their first meeting, totally lost in each other’s company.  Geneva is smiling.  Quincy is showering every compliment he can come up with upon her.  As they slowly approach the coffee shop he again extends his arm to open the door.  Once they’re inside Quincy points out his acquaintance.  A young woman seated near a window seems lost in whatever information she’s typing and viewing on her handheld device.  She’s so engrossed in fact that she’s slightly caught off guard as Quincy clears his throat to alert her of his presence. 

“Oh, sorry!  I hadn’t noticed you there.  Please have a seat.”  She places her device aside to give them her attention. 

“Ms. Wyndham, this is the lady I was telling you about, Geneva.”  Quincy pulls a chair out and awaits Geneva to be seated.  “Geneva, this is Ms. Wyndham.  She assisted with the property settlement I had a while ago and she can probably help answer some of your questions about the things that are happening with your building.”

Geneva smiles and nods, suddenly overcome with shyness and at a loss for words.  She’s unsure what questions to ask.  Fortunately though, Ms. Wyndham bails her out of the moment.

“It’s good to meet you, Ms. Geneva.  I don’t mean to rush, but I have another engagement shortly.  So, I’ll get directly to the point.  I’ve been following this story on the news, and it seems that the tenants of your building are interested in purchasing the property?”  Ms. Wyndham smiles and awaits a response.

“Yes.  But I’m not certain that I have enough of anything to buy something.  I’m not sure how I’ll be affected.”

Ms. Wyndham goes on to share stories of similar occurrences.  Geneva learns that this is no unique situation. Quincy also participates in the discussion.  But Geneva can’t seem to understand much of what they’re saying.  The sound of their voices go in and out.  Some of what they say sounds garbled.  Others words fade.  Then she sees PomPom prop up on the ledge outside the window and becomes concerned that the garbage has again become a substitute for the fresh food she’s placed in the pet bowl at home.  Not wanting to seem impolite, she continues to try and focus, with smiles and nods.  After a few moments, Ms. Wyndham has concluded their discussion with an invitation to exchange contact information for further questions.

“Once you gather a few more details, I’ll be glad to sit down and go over as much as I can with you.  How about that?”  Ms. Wyndham stands, reaches inside her purse and extends a contact card.

“That would be very nice of you, Ms. Wyndham.  Thank you so much.”  Geneva smiles and arises from the table as well, accepting the information presented to her.

“Nice to have met you, Geneva.”  Ms. Wyndham waves and exits. 

Soon Quincy and Geneva are back strolling down the sidewalk toward her building.  These details are really too much for Geneva to think about.  She just wishes that the entire mess could somehow take care of itself.  It’s so refreshing to have Quincy there.  After she’s reached the building, he bids her good afternoon and leaves.  Upon entering the building she again looks at those stairs, challenging her aged knees.  They seemed much less bothersome on the way down.   Perhaps the shift in ownership could mean getting that elevator fixed.  Yet as she begins the climb, thinking of the morning she's spent with Quincy makes it much easier to climb.  Finally she reaches her door.  After entering, she notices that PomPom has returned and is seated in the exact same place as before she left.  Fresh food and water remain untouched.

"Such a naughty pet you are, PomPom!" She playfully scowls as she removes her wrap and scarf.  She eases to PomPom and gives a loving pat before settling in to her favorite rocker and looking out at the busy streets down below.  As the rocker glides back and forth, Geneva gets lost in thought watching the people on the streets rushing about their day.     

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