He and She and Me
by Young N.
He was in bed alone. He lay on his side and was supported by many pillows. The cover was on the floor. The TV was very loudly talking to itself.
He was an old man—very thin, very white and weak. He answered “Yes” or “No” to my questions. But I was not sure he really meant it. While talking to him, I found his glasses on the floor and put them on his table.
He seemed restless, uncomfortable, and his face was getting red. I called another nurse to give him a second look; the nurse gave him his glasses. “When he isn’t wearing his glasses he becomes agitated because he doesn’t know who’s talking to him.”
Just as the nurse said, he was getting more comfortable and the redness on his face disappeared.
She was thin and had a small, stony face. She sat on the recliner and had, with assistance, just finished a box of juice. Her hair was well-groomed (even cute). She wore a thick green sweater and black pants. Small, black, well-fitted shoes were on her feet.
When I started to talk to her, she fixed her eyes on one place without purpose. Her stiff body barely moved, but the more I tried to approach her, the stonier her eyes became.
There were two beds. A Chinese man was reading a newspaper in the first bed. He did not look at me when I passed by. I think he knew I had not come to see him.
Next to this man, beyond the privacy curtain, I saw another man in bed. His eyes were closed, and he did not respond even when I touched him. He slept soundly.
Seven small, unopened cups of pudding and six new bowls of apple sauce were stacked. Ten bottles of water and six packs of supplements lay on the bedside table, too. Chocolate pudding drooled from his mouth to his sheet and had even dried. One scoop of spoon-marked pudding and nasty old pureed food sat ignored on the table, just like him.
Two TV’s were on very loudly. However, it seemed no one was bothered except me.