February 8, 2012
Figment Daily Theme:
A character realizes that he or she has just outgrown—emotionally, physically, spiritually—something or someone that was once very precious.
She is parked with the car running, listening to the local news, in a retirement home parking lot. A young nurse in a blue uniform is helping a resident, who is bent over like a fencing nail, walk around the small courtyard. She turns off the day's litany of woes and unrolls the window. The early autumn air still holds summer's promise. From the car it appears to her that the nurse is really taking an interest in this old man. The nurse walks in tandem with the old man, without looking around to see if anyone is watching. The nurse doesn't look toward the parking lot, or road, or anywhere else, wishing himself somewhere else. Wishing himself anywhere else. The nurse bends toward the old man and laughs, lays a hand lightly on his shoulder and gives him a light pat. The old man's laughter sounds like notes in b minor.
It reminds her of the tone of her life these last four years. She rolls up her window.
Even though she's not yet forty, she hopes that if she has to be in a home, there is a young person like this nurse who will listen to her stories, place a knowing hand on her shoulder.
She turns the air on and feels it blow her hair around her face. She calls her husband's cell knowing it will go to voicemail. She thinks to leave a message asking him if he'd mind moving his things out of their home. She asks what he'd like for dinner. She's thinking of making gyros.
The nurse is pushing the old man in a wheelchair back toward the home's back doors. She sees two women and their caretakers gathered under a large khaki umbrella. The womens' white hair lifts and shimmies in the slight breeze.
She leans into the air. She will ask him tomorrow.