Walking toward me from the opposite end of a city-block-long hallway which connected the clinics to the Veterans Hospital was a short, bow-legged fellow aided by a tall, gnarly staff; he was wearing some truly, grubby jeans as though he had read that op-ed piece about wearing your Levis a year between washing; he wore a calf length pea-coat made in another century for a much larger veteran and mid-calf length boots, all scuffed and dirty with the laces undone, leaving the tops of the these puddle sloshers flapping against each other as the arc of those cowpoke legs met again at the ankles. His hairy face and wrist were all that showed of this guy but that was enough. I now could see that this guy was a chimp.
He had twinkly, piercing blue eyes that were like lasers firing away from that hairy face. He wore a backwards-turned ball cap like that fellow Satch from the old Bowery Boys movies of the thirties; it was a chimp as in anzee (rhymes with pansy).
He didn’t look like one of those Hollywood Halloween Monkey Men from the Planet of the Apes series either; this ape was the real deal.
As Mr. Ape-man and I closed the gap between us I noticed someone else near the focus of my attention, a photographer approaching from behind; why would he want a photo of a cane-assisted ape taken from behind?
As the camera flashed from behind his raggedy self another came from behind me at exactly the same time. The cameraman from behind the ape apparently wanted a picture of me. Or was the photographer behind me after the other character?
There was an opportunity to turn right and follow the arrows to an exit which is exactly what I wanted to do. My wobbly old body needed rest. My osteoporotic legs were so bent out of shape that I would soon need a walker. I trudged another twenty feet or so and then stopped for a moment before moving out to the parking lot. Curious, I turned around for one last look and discovered that the ape-man and the photographers had disappeared from sight. As I stood there scratching my face which hadn’t been shaved in a week or so I noticed that the never-ending hallway had fooled me; there was a floor to ceiling mirror at that end.