Monday, April 10, 2017

Life, Act IV

He awoke to a cheerful voice he didn't recognize asking him if he knew where he was. The question sounded familiar; but after the old man looked around the sterile room with its off-white walls, double-wide window, and beige carpet, he shook his head.

When asked if he knew what day of the week it was, he attempted to get out of bed. When he couldn't, he mumbled a no.

When asked if he needed help, he grumbled, "I'm not an invalid."

When asked if he knew who the President of the United States was, he said no a little louder, his face reddening with frustration.

He didn't respond when asked if he knew his own name.

When asked if he was hungry, he said he wanted to go for a walk and once again tried to sit up.

After bingo, they lifted him from the wheelchair to his bed. He grunted, as if he was doing all the work.

When his son showed up for a visit, the old man's eyes widened and he shouted, "Frankie!" When asked ten minutes after Frankie left, the old man didn't remember having a visitor.

When asked if he needed his pull-up changed, he regurgitated a small, pale orange glob. When the aide tried to wipe the blob up, he slapped her hand away.

When asked if he knew how old he was, he shook his head, his eyes half closed. When told he was ninety-three, he smiled for the first time. When asked how old he wanted to be, he said "a hundred, of course."

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