He is generally friendly. He may seem bright or funny. He cracks jokes. He is known by many for his music collection played in the cab, which is eclectic and varied. He is however, a private person. Ask him how he's doing, he'll say fine, or sometimes he will quip... "I can't complain. Actually, I can, and BITTERLY!... But nobody listens... and if they listen, they don't care... and if they CARE... they are really powerless to ANYTHING about it, so..."
Ask about his cane, he'll say " A collapsing spine, and bad hip. Too much time in trucking. Getting old sucks."
The reality is a little different.
I'm an LPN. A Licensed Practical Nurse. I am Mike's care giver.
I opened the corporation, numbered to save money, to allow Mike to bring in an income and survive. We had hoped that by this point he would be bringing in enough from the other parts of our enterprise that the drivers service for the cab would no longer be necessary. Unfortunately, this isn't the case.
I'm a Nurse. I can't diagnose anything. I can't confirm what Mike's conditions are for you. That would be illegal, and I could lose my license. I can only talk about what I SEE, in general terms. About his struggles.
Mike's struggles are real. I have seen him dealing with back pain in the morning before his meds have taken hold. He shuffles, stooped over, sometimes having to use his cane. After meds and stretching he has mobility, but still walks with a cane for support. Getting out of the cab is difficult without the cane for support.
I have seen the effects of his depression, first hand. He can have days where personal hygiene or even dressing for the day are just not possible for him. On those days, he stays home.
I have overheard him from another room, on many occasions. An argument going on. Two different voices having a heated discussion... but there is no one else in the room. Sometimes when I ask if he is OK, he doesn't even know he was doing it.
After all of these struggles, "Poet" has been dealt a GROSS INJUSTICE. Read about it on PAGE 2.