The Final Furlong

Rebellious old man sitting on a bench picture

The last lap, the final furlong, my home until I kick the bucket.  Bastards.

“It’ll be good for you, Dad, you’ll see, and you will be well looked after.”

Yes, well looked after by some paid psychopathic underachiever of a male nurse rather than your children to whom you devoted most of your life.  Sunset Villas is the name of the residential centre, and appears to be full of decrepit old people sitting in chairs, staring vacantly into the distance, drooling uncontrollably.  I, however, am in the prime of my life, something my body unfortunately appears to have forgotten.  My son, Tom, bless him, bought me a top of the range Zimmer 2000, but I declined it – rather ungraciously I might add – by picking it up and throwing it at him, missing him by inches, and smashing Angela’s prize coffee table.  That was the last straw, I think. “The old man has got to go!” I heard her shouting that evening.  Old?  Me? How dare she!

So Tom arranged it all, efficient chap that he is, and dropped me off this morning.  Angela had something else to do, and the kids were at school, so it was just the two of us.  I could see he felt bad, but wasn't going to let him off lightly.

“So, this is it?” I said.

“What?” he replied, as he picked up my bags.

“The last time we’ll see each other?”

“Dad! Stop it.  You know we’ll see each other often.”

“Hmmmm.  Tell that to all these abandoned relics over here.”

The conversation was thankfully saved by the arrival of Jemima St Claire, the unlikely director of the centre.  She looked like she belonged in the City instead of these backwaters, and I didn't give her long.  Still, she looked very fit in her tight business suit and one of those bosom enhancing push-up bras that beckoned beneath a silky white blouse.  We all shook hands and made meaningless small talk, until on a cue given by the very assured and congenial Ms St Claire, Tom scampered off with a hurried “See you soon, Dad.”  She then guided me expertly by the elbow, while a large thug dressed in white took my bags to my room.

I was given the guided tour, and I’ll tell you all about it when I'm in a better mood.  Suffice it to say, things have come along way from the times of Dickens, and my room, modest though it is, is nicely decorated in soothing pastels and has all a man at my age needs: a bed, a television, room service, and a bathroom within staggering distance.
Funny poignant short story