The Loser had lived in Asia for four years prior to that and had developed a liking for many Asian things. He'd bicycle there from his studio apartment a little under two miles away and buy twenty-pound bags of rice and other items he couldn't get in conventional grocery stores. He discovered what is still his favorite coffee shop, Ray's Cafe, where they made siphon coffee years before anyone else, and would spend long hours wandering through Chinatown's many small stores.
|The picture everyone takes of the Chinatown Gate in Philadelphia.|
This was when he was in his thirties and forties.
Last week he went there after a brief doctor's appointment. The Loser has lived in the suburbs since his parents died six years ago and takes the train to the city.
He visited a few of his old haunts. At several points, he was convinced that extra blocks had been added. As he walked, everything from the waist down hurt. Although nearly a week later he's still feeling the effects of the trip, the Loser enjoyed his visit. His health is declining rapidly—who knows how many more times he'll be able to go?
The Loser grew up with a bad leg and he knew it would decay and immobilize him at a younger age than most (he's 59 now). Because of this, he would sometimes make a point of being conscious of his good health and lack of pain when he was young.
It turns out that while doing that may be a good thing to do, it has no effect on anything when you're older and suffering.