The Man in the Bed Opposite Mine

He must have been a good looking man a long time ago  or not even that long ago. Now he lies helpless and confused in a ward where the nurses are overworked and have little time for empathetic care.

The man is scolded for trying to get out of his caged bed.

“What are you doing?” they say.

He whimpers, mutters something unintelligible.

Casually, smugly, I watch him over my book, his slack open mouth, his toothless gums. I smile sympathetically at the nurses.

I look harder, ask myself, “Is that me?”

One day perhaps. But hopefully not soon.

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