You are forgetful sometimes, but living in purgatory, unremembering what happened five minutes ago, is probably a blessing. How else to cope with the horror of your life? Buried alive as you are within the confines of a bed and a wall is a daily reminder of death. Sunshine comes only through the blindfolds of a window. You never recovered from a broken hip. You can’t stand up to see the canopy of an avocado tree draping over the drab roofs of Hialeah. You haven’t breathed fresh air in weeks.

Dispossessed of memories and simple human joys, the lost souls of this nursing home are God’s forsaken creatures. Five of you bide time in this living hell, trapped in tight quarters. I can barely fit a chair between your bed and the other patient’s, whose TV blares violent newscasts. The poor guy is practically deaf.

I don’t blame those who care for you. Too many patients, not enough staff in the cash flow of Florida’s nursing home industry. I hate myself for not having planned to become a parent to you. I resent you for not having taught me to become a parent to you. I’m angry at the nation that worships vanity, lives in denial.

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