Sitting across from the nurses’ station on Unit 9 was Annie’s regular resting spot; moved there by the morning shift so her hospital room could be cleaned properly, the attendants usually forgot about retrieving her until the food trays arrived on the ward at noon, four hours later.
“Come on Annie, let’s get you some lunch” was the daily refrain from whichever student nurse was assigned the laborious task of pushing her back down the hall to her room; Annie’s toes curled rigidly on the foot rests as if she was trying to engage parking brakes on the wheelchair, but her bony arms flailed out to each side, endangering frail patients and medical carts innocently lined up along the walls.
Annie’s rheumy eyes stared straight ahead on these brief journeys; no longer was she able to identify objects or people. Though her vision remained intact, she could not see.
For over the tumultuous course of the past three years, Annie had retreated to a confusing world of memories covered over by cumulus clouds and present days overcast by a constant fog.