Life through a cataract
I am wakened, rudely, by the incessant twittering of immature
voices. As I struggle to open my tired, bloodshot eyes, I am privileged
to hear the conversation of two high pitched excited girls. The curtain
is thrown wide open, my eyes are tortured by sunlight. I long for the
abyss of darkness as I struggle to close them again.
I realise with growing annoyance and shame that my sheets have been
dragged of me. How I thank God that my diminishing eyesight has spared
me the clarity of my shrivelled nudity.
The noise from these two is deafening as I listen to their trivial
renditions of the previous night. It seems that Michelle, or Mandy or
what ever the hell her name is met a young man in the local last night.
How I long for this to be over. I allow my mind to wonder as I suffer
the humiliation of these two "children" washing my naked form. The
water, lukewarm, splashes in my eye. A burning flush heats my face as
my privates are washed with the ever cooling liquid. Talc is flung at
me. I smell like a baby.
I am bundled into clothes that I do not remember buying, my skin still
damp from the water. As the fog lifts gradually from my eyes, my room
begins to take shape. I squint at the dresser and the photo sitting
As I focus on the picture, the clumsy oaf of a girl bumps a hefty hip
into the already precarious table. I watch with mounting horror as the
photo topples, then crashes, face down onto the aged wooden
My expression belies my emotion. Blood thumps loudly in my head as I
feel a deep anger threaten to overflow at any moment. I try to move my
lips. Damn this feeble body of mine. Damn my lack of speech.
A loud "tut" resonates throughout the room as the idiotic girl informs
" What a stupid place to leave a photo "
I close my eyes, the only function permitted throughout the whole of my
worthless body. I wait for them to leave...
As I dare to open my eyes again, a blurred image is standing over me. I
wait for the milky spots to disperse I am greeting by yet another
visitor. I did not hear her knock the door?
A cup of steaming tea is ungraciously slopped onto the cabinet near my
bed, the smell of its contents make my mouth water. As an after
thought, a casual,
" Good morning "
Is directed at me. I try to manoeuvre my lips into a smile. How strange
they feel to me.
As quickly as the room is filled, it is deserted, and now I am alone.
My only souvenir of the moment is the end of a sentence drifting past
"...Will see him later tonight...."
I look, screwing up my eyes to focus on the clock on the far wall. With
an inward sigh, I note that the battery has still not been replaced. It
seems it will be 2:25pm forever. My room is timeless. My life is
I move my aching eyes to the solitary cup of tea standing on the
cabinet. If only I could reach it...I watch with fascination as the
tendrils of steam snake their way to the heavens.
The tea is now too cold to drink. I wonder at the time, it must be
hours until the next cup. I am so thirsty, my lips feel glued
With resignation I cast my eyes once again in the direction of the
dresser. My fears are confirmed. The photo, my only link to the life I
once had lies face down. My Ann is no longer watching over me as I lie
helpless in this coffin of a bed. How long must I lie hear, waiting to
see her again?
I curse my feeble brain for an image of her face. I search the empty
rooms of my mind, but she is not there. Only that hateful picture
boasts its possession of my wife.
How I miss her...
As I lie here in my bed, in a timeless room, I wait for the sound of
the high pitched whining voices of the carers, signalling lunch
Until they return, I will stare at the cold cup of tea on my cabinet,
and try to remember my Ann.