When asked how old he is, Bryant says, “Thirty-nine. But flip those numbers.” He chuckles. At 93 years old, it’s clear he still hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

Bryant has been receiving home-delivered meals for several years — twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays. He lives in senior housing on Manhattan’s west side. His suite is a single, neatly kept room with a sink and a microwave. And though his floor has a shared kitchen, Bryant finds it difficult to cook for himself. Usually, on days he doesn’t receive meal deliveries, he eats microwavable meals he buys at the corner store. “I can get myself soup or something like that,” he says. “You can’t depend on people all the time to get out and get stuff for you.”

I have pain that won't leave me alone.

The problem is that — even though the store is less than a block away — Bryant can’t always make the trip. “I have pain that won’t leave me alone,” he says. For years, Bryant has had trouble with his back. “That’s really the only thing that bothers me right now,” he says, admitting that’s pretty good for someone his age. But as he’s gotten older, the pain has only gotten worse. When he walks, he can’t stand up straight. Sometimes, it gets so bad, he can’t leave bed. It’s why he tries to get out on days when he feels good, but it can be difficult to motivate himself. As he puts it: “If I follow my mind, I don’t leave this room.”  

Bryant was born in Costa Rica, the son of immigrants. In 1974, he came to New York for more job opportunities. “I came by myself, all alone,” he says. “Lone wolf.”  For years, he did odd jobs, never turning anything down. “You want to live, right?” he says. “So, you do anything you can.” He hasn’t been back to Costa Rica in the 50 years since he left. When asked if he misses his home country, he simply shrugs. New York is his home now.

He’s enthusiastically adopted the city’s sports teams. Bryant is a diehard Mets fan. He watches all their games. Even off-season, Bryant spends most of his time watching TV. “That’s my company,” he says. While he finds ways to occupy himself — completed word searches and a stack of well-worn paperbacks sit on his bedside table — he describes his days as “lonesome.” Bryant has family “all over,” but none of them live in New York. And, over the years, he’s grown distant from them. His closest family members and friends have all passed away. He doesn’t get company often.

It’s why he appreciates the knock on his door and check-in that come with each meal delivery. Though, it can sometimes take some time for him to get up and open the door. It’s difficult, getting older. “But that’s the way it goes,” says Bryant.