You sniff a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Its nose filling heat rises in your nostrils. “Mm! Mm! Good!” you think to yourself. Of course you do. It’s been sneaking into the subterranean of peoples’ minds since the nineteen thirties when Campbell’s soup company broadcast its first radio commercial.
I spend most of my time at my ALF (Assisted Living Facility). But when my battery-powered wheelchair is charged, I can be found bouncing along the tree-root rutted, bumpy sidewalks, and at a traffic intersection, frenziedly trying to make the walk sign before it runs down to zero seconds. Or I might be lucky enough to have a friend load my wheel chair and me into a car or van for a trip to a coffee shop, a movie, or some other latitudinal or longitudinal location away from the lugubrious ALF.
The room rests. Waiting. Expectant. Readying itself to welcome a new resident, who will live out her days within its confines. I peer into the emptiness, for it remains a void across the hall. The new resident will be my neighbor, as was the deceased before her, and the deceased before her, ad continuem….
In the Beginning was the first blue light of the TV screen, reflecting the plains and mountains of the “vast wasteland.” In those primitive days of TV viewing, when I tired of the eye candy I was snacking, I left my comfortable perch in order to turn the tuner to another sweet shoppe.
I’m old enough to remember the vast wasteland before it was memorialized as the “vast wasteland.” (For those of you too young to remember, the “vast wasteland” was the sobriquet pronounced upon the fledgling soporific medium called TV by Newton Minnow, the man President John Kennedy appointed Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission -FCC.)
Cheek bones tightly squeezed, lips curved downward, brows furrowed, squinting eyes shifting side-to-side, hypervigilance exploding throughout the dining room. She and her cohorts are on the prowl – not for leaping lions, crouching copperheads, scurrilous scorpions. No! For walkers. The bi-podal choice – nay, necessity – we elderly in my Assisted Living Facility.
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