You find yourself in a room of old people. To the right, a woman with hair the colour of some obscure coconut concoction is putting on lipstick way outside her lips. To the left, a group of men is huddled around a table playing bridge and talking over each other, their hearing aids not quite in sync. You hear the elevator opening down the hall and a gravelly voice shouts, “is this four?”
You’re here for four more hours. You might as well decide to:
a) offer to help the woman find a mirror
b) sit down and play with the men because you’re an expert at bridge from math class
If you chose a), you walk up to the glamorous granny and ask her if she’d like some help. Her response is one delivered with a spray of leftover pasta, but quite clearly.
“No thank you dear. I can handle this on my own.”
You turn to go back to standing awkwardly in the middle of the room when she starts telling a story. So you listen, well, barely listen, until you start to recognize something familiar. Hey wait, isn’t this the plot for the lion king? Yes it is, your suspicions are correct but you listen anyways, well, barely listen, until she stops, not knowing how to continue. And you continue for her because you know this story well.
Down the hall the elevator door opens and the voice shouts, “is this four?”
If you chose b), you pull up a chair quietly but no one would notice you even if you came on the scene playing a tuba. The men are all yelling different things and you pick up sentences among the commotion.
“That was the best lunch since that time when we had chicken on a plate.”
“I thought it was fish.”
“I think Bob is stuck in the elevator again.”
“Daniel, pass me those glasses will you.”
It appears there’s no Daniel so you hand the glasses to the man even though your name is Annelise, and he smiles at you. You realize these men aren’t actually playing bridge, they’re just enjoying the company.
Whichever option you choose fills up your four hours painfully slowly. But you survive. You stroll through the front doors of the old age home, breathe in a big breath of fresh air, and hop on your brontosaurus. Now the real fun begins.