My Life In Residence


My name is Stanley Castle, which is the name I prefer, although the familiar, “We’re all friends now” people insist on calling me “Stan.” I am a man who relishes order and formalities and excessive familiarity unsettles me: it has always done so.

 I live at the Bramley Home for the Elderly ,by-line,  “We Bring Compassion to Understanding” where the levels of absent-minded neglect, and even cruelty, remind me of my childhood. Life may indeed go full circle, and so, emotionally, I am back where I started as a burden too far for staff whose minds are on other things and who wish to be in other places. 

Thus it is that the cruellest among the nurses are baffled that I smile at their conduct, which brings back fond memories of my mother, a haughty, fastidious lady who aspired to an aristocratic heritage founded on some baseless rumour later laid to rest; as I shall be in due course.

I sit now, silent among a circle of faces,  staring at the television and discover the clock to be the most animated presence in the room. Sometimes there is a flurry of activity and some relative comes in to visit someone else and says something like “ How’s it going Gran?” as if all  the residents are having fun, and  have just finished a meal of oysters and  champagne. No one comes to party here in the Waiting Room for Death but this truth remains unspoken,  The lunch recently served under the title “Shepherd’s pie with peas” may have contained  nutrients, but flavour had been exiled to make way for them.

Do I sound bitter? Who cares, bitterness is free, and I won’t last long enough to suffer the consequences so I make a point of glaring at anyone lucky enough to have a visitor and make them feel as uncomfortable as possible. It has not made me friends, but it has given me the energy that anger brings, and that is something I will treasure until I cease to breath and they can fold me up and bury me out of harm’s way.

 It was not always so.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, Fiction, Life, Peter Wells and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to My Life In Residence

  1. beth says:

    ‘the clock is the most animated presence in the room.’ wow. he is clearly resigned to his fate – a sad way to exit the world

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A chilling, but all too real, scenario, Peter. Better to go with a little dignity I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin says:

    You have nailed the end of life experience for so many. It’s so SAD, but so TRUE.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. syreal17 says:

    Evocative and exhortation, as always Peter Wellings

    Liked by 1 person

  5. nelle says:

    Whatever gets one through.

    Like

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