Modern, Portable, Self-Contained

Bet lives contently in an empty single serving carton of milk the size of six “modern, portable, self-contained outhouses manufactured of molded plastic”* arranged as one would find a half dozen eggs at the local grocer.  And she believes every single lie she tells you.  When Bet is not looking out the window, waving at the passersby, she’s watching CNN; but she tells you that her schnozzola is forever stuck in some Victorian novel, some Neolithic autobiography that she doesn’t, in fact, own, or hasn’t, in fact, borrowed--if, in fact, it at all exists.  Regardless, whatever she claims to be reading, she couldn’t tell you its title or its author.  “There are so many,” she’ll say.  True enough, true enough.   

You wheel her out of her milk carton--beyond which lies a homey nursing home corridor--over to the elevator, into the elevator, and up to the third floor, out into another homey nursing home corridor of a different color scheme, for a visit with her beau--your grandfather.  They run out of things to say to each other less than seven minutes into their reunion.  Bet holds her fist over a yawn and stares out the window at the setting sun.  She points to the cloudless sky and says, “I’d like to get home before it rains.”  No, she couldn’t tell you where Home is; but when you ask, “Isn’t home on the first floor?” she doesn’t think so.  And, of course, it isn’t.  Home, to Bet, is the farmstead in Iowa her father sold in 1957.   

Home, now, is “Home,” that is, hardly a home at all.  It is the empty single serving carton of milk Bet holds up, “but the size of six ‘modern, portable, self-contained outhouses manufactured of molded plastic,’” she says, as she pitches the carton, underhand, at the toilet, “arranged as one would find a half dozen eggs at the local grocer.”  And you may not believe this, but Bet always makes the shot; after which she’ll always button-call a nurse in to fish the thing out.


*Source: Wikipedia

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