People chance upon those clammy moments in life, where you get that lump in your throat and you recall all those quick witted smooth talking moments you may have (or thought you might have) had, but all that skill or experience evades you. You just know that you’re going to outlive the poor sod, bed ridden in front of you, only a year ago you saw her strutting around the corner, out pacing all those other indolent geriatrics and winning the foot race to the sweet shop to fetch your favourite sweet meats. All you’d like to think of is how the mighty have fallen except that you can’t, that bloody lump in your throat has blocked all the blood supply to your brain.
Offer words of encouragements? Quit fooling yourself, the poor thing has seen more years (difficult too) than you and will certainly call your bluff. Make sympathetic and dismissive noises? Only if you’re a self important fat prick I suppose. You notice that there’s not even a ghost of a smile on her face, she is literally exchanging fluids through tubes from all orifices of her body.. You wouldn’t be caught dead smiling in that kind of a state. It appears from all these mildly scarring invalid visits that the feet go first. That’s just the course of nature. Pretty raw deal, seeing as that’s the first most celebrated event of one’s fledgling life. Surely it’s got to be the worst feeling ever because you absolutely dread what’s coming next.. Toilet assistance. You’ve not known shame as a child, soiling diaper after diaper. Now turn up the shame and fast forward 60 years.
Yet the eyes still shine with something. In my case, i feel that memories kindle that flame. That, and a doggedness of existing, no matter how empty. I saw her recall my name, trace the face contours of a relative long gone on my own face. There was a blessing offered mutely and the eyes lit up with tears.. At that moment, we both knew that this would be the last we meet. The lump starts throbbing now and a distraction is sought in the glass of water in front of you. Upon extending the hand for the glass, the slightest twitch is seen on her wrinkled arm. You pat it pathetically, shift uncomfortably in your seat for another 3 minutes and announce your departure. As you exit the doorway, you feel those eyes burning into the back of your head.. Have you the courage to turn around?