Boomer Animal is a short story written for us at Boomer for Life by Jared Wright. The story will be posted in four installments.
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.
……..He could not recall the accident, but the hospital room distinguished itself with the strong scent of 409 and the bitter sting of alcohol. A man at the foot of the bed held his charts in his hands, scanning them over.
“You must be James,” the man said, never moving his mouth. “Sixty-five year old Portuguese man, cab driver,” he stopped reading the chart and looked directly into James’s eyes, “parents deceased, estranged daughter, lives in Dover, Massachusetts, but grew up in Meredith, New Hampshire. Enjoys Gilligan’s Island and the Twilight Zone.”
How do you know all this, James tried to say, but his mouth refused to move.
“Oh, don’t worry, I can hear you loud and clear,” the man said. He wore a shirt which read “Beatles Mania” in a plethora of rainbow colors. He brought out a pack of Kent cigarettes and began smoking. “I’m known as the Boomer angel. Every generation has one. You’re lucky I’m here, the Generation Y guy just sends out emails.”
What do you want? James asked.
“Well, you’ve been in an accident and are clearly in a coma,” Boomer Angel said. “And since you’re a boomer, you’ve been working so hard all your life, you may think of this as a mini vacation. My poor generation, so work centric, when all the others after you are so lazy.”
Coma, James asked.
“Yeah, that’s what you get from driving like every other person in Boston. But don’t worry; you’ll come out of it in two months.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know…long time. But I like you; you’re the epitome of our generation. So I’m here to spice things up. Your mind can enter that of an animal’s and leave your immobile body behind, so you don’t get bored for the next two months.”
“I already said, because I like you. You’re a boomer, I’m the Boomer angel. Come on, we’ve been through a lot: JFK assassination, Cuban Missile Crisis, Equality movements. So, what animal do you want to be? Lot of options, so take your time, we’ve got all day.”
James saw the clock on the wall stopped moving, as time froze within the room. The Boomer angel stood by the window, humming “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
(To be continued….next week)