Student or Learner
Through the half-open door of a room I saw an older woman who lay motionless on her bed. Her wrinkled face was pale dead as if she had already left this world. Beside her, from morning to the afternoon sat her son, a man in his forties, watching her silently. He wore spectacles and never showed any emotions. I walked by many times but he never looked up. They two were bound up with an invisible tie and who knows they probably communicated with telepathy or some other language known only by them.
I asked one of the nurses about the old woman and she told me that she had been lying so for some moths and probably she was never going to wake up.
Her words reminded me of my own fate; if I did not wake up after my operation people would not care, there was nobody around who was going to mourn me.
Saturday evening I spent watching the bingo on TV with my room- mate. He had bought some bingo cards and eagerly awaited the program to start. He was in a cheerful mood and told me that after women bingo was his most favourite game. I was bored, but did not want to offend him. My mind could not cope with the sharp contrast between long legged beauties wearing almost nothing, assisting the host and overweight men and women armed with marker pens and highlighters checking the numbers. It was a ritual which repeated week after week and which was watched by millions of the people. The winner would come up on the stage, smiling and waving to everybody, the host shook his hand, the hostess would gently swayed her hips and carried a cardboard box or a huge check which would be hand over to the overjoyed winner who for the first time was on TV and could not believe his own eyes. Until his last breath he or she was going to tell everybody of this exceptional moment when they got a chance to be a celebrity at least for a few hours.
When the last well trained backside of the hostesses left the scene it was the time for a dance orchestra to keep the mood high. Their music sounded terrible in my ears but when I looked at my neighbours it seemed to me that everyone enjoyed it. A middle age nurse clapped with her hands and a patent with only one leg left used it to beat time. I said to myself that if I were married to a Swedish woman I would probably sit with her and tortured myself for two hours if I wanted my marriage to survive.
During the commercials my room mate told me that his children would come tomorrow. "They are the best medicine," he concluded.
Sunday morning awaited us with the sunny day. Through the open window came the sound of birds chirping from the nearby forest. The scent of the newly brewed coffee was spreading through the corridor and the rooms.
When I woke up my room-mate was already out of bed. He took a bath, shaved himself and stayed in front of the mirror at least for fifteen minutes, correcting his side parting, adjusting his tie and his shirt. He must have done the similar ritual in his home town whenever he left his flat knowing that every day there was a chance for a new adventure.
"They are here shorty," he said, dabbing aftershave on his face. His eyes sparkled with happiness. "When they are beside me, I do not feel any fear. I know that nothing wrong can happen."
Through the half-open door of a room I saw an older woman lying motionless on her bed. On her wrinkled face was a deathly pallor as if she had already left this world. Beside her, from morning to afternoon sat her son, a man in his forties, watching her silently. He wore spectacles and never showed any emotion. I walked by many times, but he never looked up. They two were bound with an invisible tie, and they probably communicated by telepathy or some other language known only to them.