He never wanted it to change; the way things were. Completely content. As pleased as a man can be. He just wanted to live out the rest of his years in quiet. The sound of nothing except classical music playing on the radio. Maybe the sound of his own voice once in awhile. The old man liked to talk to himself. Carried on conversations constantly. He’d talk about old times with women he had dated over the years. The blondes, brunettes, all of them from boy hood crushes to full-on-affairs in the cities across America. There was that Japanese girl in Toledo, he said to himself. She was really something, he smiled. And that Dutch woman in Chicago, he sipped his weak coffee. She was fun.

The old man spent afternoons counting up all the women he’d been with. There were several. But, he could never place that ring on his finger. Came close with an Irish woman who wound up breaking his heart. That was in New York City. Years ago when Manhattan wasn’t so safe. I guess it’s not that safe now, he said, staring out the window at a parking lot. Things change then they change back again. Just the nature of life, the old man said.

Look at all those cars, he whispered. I wish I could get my hands on one of them. That and a good credit card I could run up before I die, he laughed. I’d be out of this place in a second, he smiled.

It’s time for your pills Mr. Samuel, the nurse said. He wheeled himself over to her in his chair. His frail hands pushed against the wheels. Make sure you take them all, she said. Make sure you swallow them, he nodded.

Darkness was coming. The sun was going down. Parking lot lights shined on the cars as they left the nursing home. No one visited him that day. No one ever visited. He just sat alone talking to himself about old times. He never wanted things to change. He was perfectly content. It goes by so quickly.


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