Blog Story Short: The Old Man
This odd little brain fart fermented in my mind in between sessions of my care of my now passed-on grandmother that involved diapers. I'll let you all marinate on that particular mental image for a second.
Now that I'm pretty sure most of you have finished consuming your equivalent to Brain Bleach to rid yourselves of the previously mentioned mental image, allow me to introduce to you the thought patterns that lead me to think up of one possible future (outlandish it would probably be, you'll find out soon enough) through the eyes of a man who aged his way into geriatric retirement of a future he only have seen through the lens of science-fiction. Eyes that could not help but look back into the past in reflection to his current present and ask "Where was this *expletive* when I was *censored*-ing younger?!"
Yeah, this old guy's got himself a potty mouth. So without further ado, here's the (theoretical) end result of said brain fart.
Oh and I should also warn you, VERY mature language is involved.
The Old Man
Within the nocturnal phantasms of slumber, the old man dreams of a nostalgic world of his younger years. An age when he was at his most happy, his most innocent, when family reunions and parties with friends and collogues were at their most enjoyable.
"Mr. Doe. Sir. It. Is. Time. To. Wake. Up."
The old man could still smell the scent of spring grass as his younger self giggled in childish glee across the fields, kites in the air, the warmth of the sun as it peaked through the clouds.
"Mister. Doe. Sir. It. Is. Time. To. Wake. Up."
The voice had finally been strong enough to pull the old man from his slumber as he snorted into living awareness. He looked around the room that he currently occupied, but was unfamiliar to him. It was strange, alien, with many artifacts that he could not fathom their purpose nor origin as he struggled to pull himself up from the bed, only to fail.
"Mister. Doe. Sir. It. Would. Be. Best. To. Use. The. Bed. Rail. For. Support." The old man turned towards the voice and was slightly taken aback. Before him was a hominid robot, a demi-android and panic started to rise from his chest, only to glance at hands that were not his own. Skeletal, wrinkled, and deathly pale, he rose these unfamiliar limbs closer to his face as he observed with macabre interest. Were these really his hands?
Then a thought occurred that nearly answered all of his inquiries. "Oh.... right. I'm in the future and I'm old as shit." The reality began to smother him as he used the aforementioned bed rails for support as he raised himself to a sitting position, though with additional aid from the demi-android. "Thanks, Siegfried."
"I. Operate. To. Aid. Mister. Doe." The demi-android, dubbed Siegfried, replied.
"Mister. Doe." The old man turned towards the second demi-android. "It. Is. Time. To. Turn. You."
"Growing old fucking sucks..." The old man groaned to himself before he turned towards the second demi-android again. "Mind getting my Thinking Cap, Roy?"
"Is. That. Necessary. Mister. Doe?" The demi-android identified as Roy inquired.
"Maybe not, but I want it anyway." The old man answered. "I got dementia, remember?"
The demi-android, Roy, only complied as it placed the Thinking Cap device upon the old man's head. Through neural induction, the computer-linked Thinking Cap allowed the old man to retain his higher thought processes and memories from his dedicated Cyber-Brain computer server while his gray matter decreased in inefficiency over the decades of aging. It was the only way to keep him as he was, to prevent the paranoid delusions and memory loss that had affected the elderly of previous generations who were unfortunate enough to live long enough to acquire such symptoms of a failing mind.
The two demi-androids had just removed the bedding and sheets of the hospital bed when they paused. "What's wrong now?" The old man asked.
"Olfactory. Sensor. Indicate. Bowel. Movement." The demi-android, Siegfried, answered.
"I shit myself again?" The old man groaned in annoyance. "Ugh! I swear, getting old fucking sucks ass!" The old man then turned towards the demi-android, Roy. "Did I piss myself as well?"
"Well isn't that just fucking perfect!" The old man growled. "I got two for the price of fucking one! Where was that luck when I bought that lottery ticket?!" Then he sighed and turned towards the demi-androids. "Alright, strip me and put me in the damned shower. I might as well have my bath for the day."
"Shower. Taken. Mister. Doe." Roy corrected. "This. Is. Third. Cleansing. Activity. Today."
The old man simply stared at the demi-android before it tapped his finger against the Thinking Cap. "And you were asking why I needed this for a damned bed flip."
"We. Should. Clean. Before. Transport." Siegfried announced.
"Just make sure that I'm not going before you two take me." The old man advised. "I could only afford the first mistake. Social Security won't cover a second full carpet replacement."
Once the soiled adult diaper and fecal matter was properly disposed of and the old man's bottom cleaned enough, he was carried to the shower. Then the demi-androids carefully placed the old man upon the toilet stool within the shower stall and removed the Thinking Cap lest it be ruined by the showerhead.
The demi-android, Roy, then washed the old man in the shower with the occasional direction to the old man for brushing his teeth, gargle mouth wash, or to lean his body for the shower and sponge to access and clean away the filth of bodily excrement. The old man could not help but enjoy the sensation of warm water and airy soap cascade down upon his body and the therapeutic affects of the shower upon his skin. Then, when the old man was at the apex of his enjoyment, the shower was over and the demi-androids dried him before he was relocated to the wheelchair. "What? We're not going back to bed?"
"Sheets. And. Bedding. Soiled. Mister. Doe." Siegfried answered.
"I knew I should have bought more sheets when I had the chance." The old man grumbled. "Somebody please invent a contra-gravity bed already. While we're at it, let's do some contra-gravity showers as well."
"Float. With. Excrement. As. Well. Mister. Doe?" Roy inquired.
"You just have to rub that in and spoil my happy thought, do you?" The old man was wheeled into the living room as Siegfried gathered the soiled bedding and sheets to the laundry room.
"So what's on the boob tube now?" The old man asked.
"Daily. Exercises. Mister. Doe." Roy stated.
The old man sighed. The exercises prescribed by his physical therapist were meant to build up his muscles so that he would be able to walk independently again after the stem cell therapies he had taken back in the hospital. Though he would rather prefer that his brain was transferred into a new cyborg body, particularly one with a built in machine gun to get at those pesky seagulls that kept ruining the paint job of his car.
Sadly, neither technology was available. Or at the very least, within his current budget. He was certain Kaiser Permanente would not cover such an operation for a multitude of reasons.
"Alright, let's get this over with." The old man then followed the audio/visual directives of Roy in the muscle-building exercises. He was able to stand up on his own and walk a few paces from the wheelchair before he needed to lay back down and sleep. However the bed sheets were not dried out so he had to settle with the wheel chair.
He was stirred from his well earned nap when Siegfried pulled him up from the wheelchair. The old man looked back at the demi-android and asked, "I slipped again, didn't I?"
"No. Mister. Doe. You. Were. On. Verge. Of. Falling. Out. Of. Wheel. Chair." Siegfried answered.
"We really need to invent reclining wheel chairs." The old man grumbled to himself. It was then did he notice that Roy had gathered various medical equipment. "Doctor visit again? How long was I out?"
"One. Hour. Twenty. Minutes. Mister. Doe." Roy answered when Siegfried presented the old man a pair of augmented reality goggles.
"Oh, good, you remembered this time." The old man took the AR goggles from Siegfried donned them. Roy's face was then replaced with image of his assigned doctor. Truly it was the sign of the end times when doctors were out-sourced to another country, double points for one that did not speak English nor was it a requirement to even be fluent. At least someone was sane enough to innovate real-time subtitle translations to help bridged the language barrier, though heaven help him the moment his vision starts to fail and he couldn't read the words.
"Same as always," The old man answered "Grumpy, old, and addicted to my Thinking Cap."
"Might as well get it over with." The old man conceded. "It's not like I got anything else better to do today."
The doctor then began remote operations of the medical equipment to check on the old man's blood pressure, oxygen content, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, lungs, and reflexes among other medical concerns for one whom have lived as long as the old man.
"Nothing that Siegfried and Roy here haven't told you." The old man answered. "Unless, of course, it can finally get me some weed, in which case-"
"Yeah, yeah, I know the song and dance." The old man interrupted. "Still doesn't cover the fact that the whole thing is fucking stupid."
"You've seen my blood sugar and cholesterol levels."
"Well what did you expect? I'm fucking OLD! I'm having a hard enough fucking time to get my body to eat more to get my strength back!" The old man countered as he showed his left arm to the doctor. "I'm practically skin and bones and it's a fucking miracle that I could even eat that much!"
"To which I got that in fucking spades or did you forget how old I am?"
"At least you've accepted the fact that it's not all altruistic." The old man teased. "Besides, I wouldn't call it 'negligence' per say. More like giving me small reminders of being human, of the simple joys of life that strengthens one's will to live."
"Just being selfish and honest here." The old man rationalized.
"Nobody likes a smart arse, doc." The old man growled in annoyance.
"I'm not going anywhere." The old man quipped. "Trust me, I WISH I had better plans than to sit around here all day and go stir fucking crazy." The teleconference then ended and Roy was given full control over its frame once more.
The old man then turned towards Siegfried. "So then, time for me to go back to bed?"
"Sheets. Not. Dry. Mister. Doe."
"Still?!" The old man then grabbed the cable box remote. "Oh well, might as well see what's on." He then shifted through the channels to find some kind of program to pass the time, preferably something enjoyable. Then he found a movie that was still in the middle of the first act. With an activity chosen, the old man removed his Thinking Cap.
"Do. You. Not. Need. Your. Thinking. Cap. Mister. Doe?" Roy inquired.
"It's a Michael Bay flick," The old man answered. "No higher brain function required."
The old man then laid back into the wheelchair, before he realized that he didn't really need to stay in the wheel chair and had the two demi-androids relocate him to his favorite reclining chair. Once he was finally settled, the old man watched the movie play upon the screen and found some enjoyment.
However, it was when the movie changed to a scene to a family outing did the old man looked around the living room and all of the various knick-knacks that he had collected over the years. He had visited so many places, met so many people, but what did that all achieve? Only himself alone in his silver years with only the memories of past glories to give comfort. He had spent most of his adult life in corporate employment with dedication and zeal to such a degree that before he knew it, he was already a retired old man, with no family or children to visit him. Had he really wasted his life in a career that ultimately tossed him away with little more than a pale gesture of thanks for all of his hard work? To neglect the comfort of others, a family to call his own?
Tears began to build up at the corner of his eyes when the dull noise of a door unlocked reached the old man's ears. In a slight panic, the old man turned towards the source of the noise that soon mutated into the noise of a door, his front door, opening. His paranoia climaxed as he heard someone run towards him, but it was not some home invasion burglar.
Instead it was the pitter patter of a little girl who nearly leaped into his lap and exclaimed "Grandpa!"
Not too long afterwards, a couple entered the living room. "Hey, dad." The young man greeted.
"Oh, right. I DO, have kids." The old man realized as he reached for his Thinking Cap.
The young man, the old man's son, then approached. "Come on dad, you don't really need that thing."
"Oh yes I do!" The old man quipped as he donned his Thinking Cap.
Yeah, it's a bit short and probably not my finest work. But what did you expect from a brain fart?