Here's the highlight of your month: the Country Mart, where you shop for donated (admittedly super soft and cozy) socks arranged smartly on a long, laminate table. You've accumulated points for participating in bingo and the shopping is your reward.
Here's the reluctant, begrudging, apparently non-verbal relative pushing you around the facility perimeter, indoors of course, in your wheelchair for twelve minutes, then leaving so he can check you off his list.
Here's the grossly underpaid CNA administering your medications, while you involuntarily swat his hand away because your limbs have a mind of their own. He thinks you're resisting. You can't explain otherwise.
Here's the activity, an Irish song sing-along, that is supposed to make you feel better but instead makes you cry during Danny Boy.
Because you remember, if only for a fleeting minute.
Here's the fluorescent-lit, windowless activities room that screams "OFF YOURSELF WHILE YOU STILL CAN!"
Here's dinner: inedible and flavor-free, once again.
Here are perfect strangers with whom you have to live even though their idiosyncrasies make you draw in your breath and avert your gaze.
Here's another day, just like yesterday and the day before, filled with meds and walls and loneliness and incontinence.
Here's Aging in America, the chapter you had not read when you were an aspiring soprano, or a Rear Admiral in the Navy, or one in five children whose mother told you in a two-room apartment in Chicago in the late 1940s that you were "one too many." When you thought life could only get better.
Here's the ninth inning—not a barn burner so much as a slow fade.
Here's hoping no one is alone in a room of strangers, but rather, surrounded by loved ones, as she or he ages in place.