Saturday, July 05, 2008

When I'm eighty-four

Tomorrow I'm going to visit my maternal granny's younger sister. She lives in the Burgenland province (its exactly a 100 km drive from my place) and I visit her at least every third Sunday now that her husband is in a nursing home in another village nearby and she is desperate for someone to chat with and give her a lift to his home. My great-aunt was a dressmaker like my granny (who trained her) was and even though she always had many admirers, single and married, she only got married after she officially closed the tailor shop adjacent to the family home and my great-grandparents and her eldest sister, who died of a heart-attack in her early sixties, had died. For the first time, she could put herself first. She went to a spa resort where she met a widower from Vienna and they got married pretty soon afterwards, when they were both sixty years old.

Now that they are 84 and her husband is in a nursing home, he lives under the delusion that all the nurses there have the hots for him and he gets declarations of undying love pretty much every night. It's rather sad as with a colostomy bag and a urostomy I wonder what those nurses would want to do with him exactly, but then again, if it makes him feel like a stud and relieves boredom... The funny thing is that he's not really noticeably demented and of pretty sound mind otherwise, but the presence of so many young-ish women taking care of him obviously stimulates his imagination.

Whenever I visit him with my great-aunt, all he ever talks about are his latest "exploits" or rather which nurse is currently in love with him and confessed to him she'd leave her husband for him and was dying to bear him children (!). He is not shy of graphic descriptions, either, saying of one nurse "Her breath is as fresh as ice-cream when she kisses me." My aunt usually pats his hands and says something along the lines of "Well, isn't he popular here!" or, jokingly, "I suppose I'll have to find myself an admirer, too, now."

The last time I was there, he seemed somewhat crestfallen. When we asked him how he was he said he felt terrible because he hadn't slept a wink. The reason apparently was a particularly love-sick nurse who had kept him up all night caressing and kissing him. He burst out "This has got to stop. Will you ever forgive me?" and was about to cry when my aunt resolutely said "There, there, don't you fret, they can make out with you all they like. All I want from you is your pension anyway." I almost fell off my chair laughing.

The funny thing was that we wasn't particularly shocked by this statement, either.


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