“Shit on me!” He half fell, half settled into the burgundy easy chair pointed respectfully at the empty Mecca of the television set opposite. Morning was breaking through the windows from sharp reflections cast from the Domino-like landscape without. He raised himself vertically with a grimace and farted and waited for the olfactory shock wave to hit him. The flyer from the sporting goods store was still fresh in his mind laid to rest in the darkened tile ‘cabine’. His guts still gurgled like an angry stainless pot full of milk left lonely on an untended stove. God how he hated being reminded of how old he really was!
Being awakened solitary in a king sized double bed by the phantom of his leaky intestines on cue had led to a strange nightly routine. He had to wonder as he dutifully surveyed the contents swimming just below him as he slowly took his feet to flush them from the porcelain receptacle. The quality of disgust that might have served as the rigor if he had found himself into the responsibility of proper decorum about such things fort he sake of company had long eroded. That in itself was discouraging. He was rounding the bend to oblivion. Part of that portion of the generations that would find one thing or another falling or failing driving down the list of daily expectations on the page. The chapters of his life previous slowly erased to the annoyance of present day interruptions by the realities of his nearness to that one lurking infirmity that would one day not so far int he future rise out of the still waters of his usual imperturbable calm to drag him back down within. The cosmic ether weighing in with its chaos upon what had once been an adequately serviceable human body.
The advertisement in the paper stated the obvious. Six-hundred dollars for a standard device that could hold seven rounds only one needed. The morose possibilities behind the innocuous illustration of same merely a possibility. A bulwark against the thought of one day too soon finding one crippled and utterly helpless against the tide of modern medicine. He had served his time watchfully with both his father and then his mother right up to their last breath’s. The first occurrence as much of as a shock as a surprise. Amazing that the permanence of the universe in the indestructible constitution of his indomitable father could so easily tick down to a final rest? His mother’s final sigh, a verification of that inescapable fact. The amazing quality of how that form before him that had ruled his life and thought could descend to an inanimate lump of to quickly detestable mortal wax. Something that was now there to be disposed of with as much honor as one could summon for any strange inert form attempting to supplant the person that had customarily radiated so many unfathomable dimensions even when totally at rest.
He raised himself up again to accommodate the noxious bubble that was propelling his own abdominal discomfort. he had prepared a fair sized meal last night with the remnants of vegetables from the refrigerator. The penalty of abiding by some measure of healthy diet was inevitably a sentence of distress. There was no way around this dilemma at this age. No measure of rational thinking forwarded ‘in absentia‘ upon the boxes of the contents of products on the shelf. Such recommendations as were forced upon him by the dead avatars of television and subsequently parroted by clerks at the local health food store could not stand the the restless winds of his fidgeting internals. The turn of events in empathy for that class of ‘farty’ old men had fully embraced him. He was now a card carrying member of that class who on those random occasions at some odd juncture begging quiet deliberation could imagine his own physical manifestation locked deep within a steel box held tight from the sun and split apart by the unrelieved pressure of advancing decay. No animate gesture to find purchase of the lifelong convolutions of that generally unspoken canal to the outer world.
How like memory of so many of life’s experiences the fetid aroma gently rose about him so strongly then equally quick faded away. It seemed ironic that everything resting about him in the room had a life span that with proper care and placement would outlast its owner? You worked like a coal miner digging up stuff all your life to unearth things from the immensity of a world that would so easily claim you. The evidence of your existence would be appreciated indifferently by strangers would would tear at your masterworks dissipating your arrangement of them completely missing the point of your exercise tossing that collection to the vagaries of their indifference. You were just there it seemed to consume as much as you could and then equally as immediately possible void it out to make room for more. Eat, sleep, shit! Eat, sleep, shit! Every day of your life until the mechanism wore itself out and somebody else’s offspring, or your own, took your place. There was no way out of it! You just had to sit there stoically and accept it with aplomb.