Chores performed in silence

Posted: March 12, 2015 in Short stories, starts & writing

Every morning she manhandles him from his bed, arranges him in his chair and takes him to the bathroom. Waits for him to use the toilet, and then sloshes cold water over his malformed body, helps him to wash. He flinches when the water hits him, sometimes letting out a little gasp, and goosebumps come up over his bony biceps and skinny chest, but always he says nothing.
Most times this chore, followed by the chore of dressing, the chore of breakfast, is performed in silence. This has been routine now for twelve years and there is no joy in its repetition. Only the numbing weight of obligation and the toxic pall of stale regret that hangs above their heads.
On Saturday, like every Saturday, she pushes him in his chair along the side of the road as the impatient morning traffic hustles by. Motorcycles and cars and buses and trucks sound their horns and jostle for space, and she wonders why all these people should be so tetchy and agitated when she is the one who just had to scrape her brother’s shit from under her fingernails.

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