Boomer Animal is a short story written for us at Boomer for Life by Jared Wright. This post is a follow-on to the Boomer Animal post on 3/31, Boomer Animal – Part II on 4/7 and Boomer Animal – Part III on 4/15. If you have not read those posts yet please read them before you read this one.
About the Author…… Jared lives in Oregon with his fiance and two cats. He studies English and American History at Oregon State University and is currently working on his first novel.
“How was it,” asked the unmistakable voice of the Boomer Angel from somewhere in the darkness. “Fast,” James replied. Colors began to swirl wherever he was: Green, crimson, violet, and blue.
“Yeah, that’s the problem about the whole animal-body-switch-coma thing. People spend two months and come back with very little memory, if any memory at all. You’ll recall certain moments and habits, but it will all feel like the wisp of dreams.”
“Is it time to go back to my own body?”
“Yeah, we just have a few more seconds to go on this high-speed road of out-of-body experience.”
The colors became objects, sparkling like lost diamonds around the necks of lost girls. The couple he had seen dancing prior to leaving the bobcat waltzed across the darkness, emanating a brilliant light. Then, clear as day, the Boomer Angel faded into his vision. His face close and his breath smelling of chamomile.
“Sorry about this,” he said. The Angel brought his hand up and, with great strength, slapped James across the face.
The lights faded and then the world of the hospital room resurfaced in his mind. Except, it was not in his mind, for his eyes were open, in his own body. He could feel himself flexing his hand, making a weak fist.
“Welcome, back James,” said a young doctor leaning over his bed. “You’ve been away for a while.”
It took close to a year for James to exit physical therapy. He retired from the taxi business and moved back to Meredith, where he opened an antique store—a dream of his since he was young. The days went by peacefully and simple.
One muggy summer night, a knock on the door stirred him from a slight doze. He was sure it was the Boomer Angel; he had always expected the eccentric man to check-in at some point. However, when he opened the door, his daughter stood in the dying light of the day. They spent that evening laughing, crying, and forgiving. James learned that she had visited him in the hospital three times while he was in his coma, but she never came after he was awake—out of fear.
James saw two things as they sat on the back porch, watching the sun go to rest. The first was a bobcat, agile and fierce, running through the tall grass, further into the forest. The second was the silhouette of a man, hunkered deep in the branches of a large oak. James had no doubt it was the Boomer Angel, still looking out for him and trying to enjoy life in the only fashion a boomer can—to the fullest.