Friday, July 27, 2007

Cardinal Syndrome

What does an old bird do when his feathers are less lustrous than they were back in some aerial heyday?

He'd left the house he'd lived in after 37 years, hired a full-time nurse, and purchased a plot of land somewhere between Montana and Pennsylvania. Identifying it on the internet was the hard part. The easy part was watching anonymous workers dump his belongings into the giant dumpster placed right beneath his crusty bedroom.

But what was the deal with the nurse? She wasn't some husk crouching towards a cemetery plot...what motive did she have for taking this gig? Sure, he offered her a lot of money, but still. She was 23 and had less connection with the vague state they were relocating to than he did. This intrigued him and he hoped the mystery would twist in front of him, never truly revealing itself until the moment before they put the coins on his eyelids.

As he pictured it, she'd be gently mopping his brow and cooing him to sleep. He'd intuitively know that this was no sleep, this was the real deal, this was the primo-el-end-of to end all be-alls. He'd gaze piercingly up at her and respectfully beg her to tell him why, why had she left everything behind to care for him who she had never met before taking this absurd plunge.

She'd purse her lips, look off into the distance, lean down closer to him, lavender and lilac enveloping him like a dress slit up to a thigh, and unburden herself in toto.

"You see, when I first saw you..."

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