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Short story: <i>My Old Man</i>



I'll puzzle through the old man's petulance.

He's got a goddamn chip on his shoulder about this goddamn operation, but I'll sweet talk him out of it and shake him out of his melancholy and get him back on his feet in no time.

Metaphorically speaking.

Chances are, he won't get back on his feet, now or ever, but the old guy's had a long, full life, as I like to tell people who come and express their condolences even though he's not dead yet. I don't want their pity, or their sympathy cards, or their bouquets, or their rodent flinted eyes round with curiosity, or their vulture noses drawn to the scent to impending death.

He's so small and vulnerable looking, I really don't think that the surgery some fat, earnest little owl of a doctor suggested to me is a good idea. It's experimental, see, and it could have one of two results. It could kill him on the operating table, or it could prolong his life for a really long time.

But it's not like that long time would be enjoyable or productive for him. He wouldn't be able to eat, because he's got no teeth left anyway, so he can't chew herring on toast or baked potato or new baby peas or any of the things that make his life worthwhile.

It also wouldn't be productive for me, having to come in here and visit him all the time, giving up my social life, pretending to care, watching the nurses fuss with their weasel faces, making sure they don't convince the old man to sign over his life savings in a fit of weakness.

Those are MY life savings. I earned them by coming here every second Sunday for the last year. And if he spends much longer here, they're all going to be gone anyway.

No surgery.

This is the result of a fifteen minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: puzzle, surgery, petulance, herring, and melancholy.

Image courtesy of bennylin0724.

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Comments

This is a pretty interesting exercise of mind, soul and brain. What would you write if the words were : solitude, snow, deafening, love and me.

I'm glad you like it! I've written a story using your words, it's here.

Thanks for your interest and suggestions and hope you like it! :-)

Bridget