Monday, December 13, 2010

Home for the elderly

She awoke each day to the same nauseating smells. Every odor seemed to be the same combination of old, musty and stale. It was like rising from bed in the middle of a bowl of sour milk. She already felt like a corpse. Her body had become unfamiliar, frail, and hunched. She could hear her cryptic steps. Even her breaths didn’t sound or smell the same; they were wheezes and acidic gasps of a person being forgotten.
Everything around her offended her. All her familiar surroundings had vanished, leaving her miserable in this sterile incarceration of the elderly. The smell of death permeated the air. One by one the population of the prison decreased. Yet replacements arrived of new aging hopeless inmates adding to the chemical concoction of these walls. There was no longer the wondering of what tomorrow will bring because she knew it would be the same putrid, intoxicating smells.
The smell that kept her up most nights and the one she could never get rid of was the smell of unfulfillment, of a life spent in vain. A road not traveled, and one that will never be. It stank. It reeked. It came out of her body without permission and it was the most vile smell of all. She tried to wash it off, to cleanse herself but it stuck to her like a relentless shadow. She would bear it like she has tolerated all the other discomforts and now she would wait for death row.

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