I feel like a cup of tea.
I want to tell the nurse in my room but she is pretending not to see me, they all do. Not because they are cruel, you understand, but because they are understaffed; run off their feet trying to do the job of three people with their own two hands.
So, I say nothing.
Instead, I watch her. I watch her furrowed brow as she goes about checking my vitals, asking the polite questions they all ask about how I am feeling but never really listening to the reply because an actual conversation would take too long. The ruse is exhausting and demeaning and at 100 I really don’t feel as though I should have to partake of anything that I don’t want to so I say nothing.
Normally, when I do this, they say something obvious like, “Not feeling like a chat today, Elsie?”
No shit, I normally think but never say because they wouldn’t hear the reply anyway.
Today; however, today I feel like shaking things up a bit. Today, I decide to answer.
“How are we feeling today, Elsie?” She asks, not looking at my face but at her watch while she holds my wrist.
“Pretty good,” I say, “I reckon I’ll die today.”
Then she looks at me as her grip on the wrist loosens along with her jaw.
God hasn’t blessed this one with much to look at, I think as I say out loud, “A touch of lippy would do wonders for you, you know. I never went out of the house without lipstick when I was your age.”
She snaps her mouth closed and frowns at me. “Thank you, Elsie. So, back to your plans today…”
“Yes. I am planning to die today.”
“Right,” she says quietly as she scurries out of the room. I can hear her in the hallway speaking to another nurse.
“The old ones do this,” the nurse says. “We should call the family. Just in case.”
Goody. Visitors. That should make the day go a bit quicker and I should be able to get that cup of tea I’m after.