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Word Count: 1,262
Back home I work at a retirement home called the Commons on Marice as awaitress in the dining roomThe elderly never get old figuratively at least Once theyve movedpast talking about their glaucoma arthritis and the weather about twoor three times they will always have a new story to tell about theirglory days or even yesterday Working in a retirement home one becomesfamiliar with everyones favorite small talk subject The women usuallytalk about their children and education if theyre not already gossipingabout the other women On the other hand the men love to talk aboutthe war Which war is never clarified its always just thewar Ive heard stories from pilots lieutenants captains and morehowever Carl told my favorite story It was towards the end of the night at the Commons and I had alreadycompleted my tedious side work of wiping down each of the 150leather-bound menus I slowly peeked my head around the corner of thewall separating the kitchen and the dining area to check if anyone wasleft in my section There was only one resident left and he was slowlypicking away at his chicken barley soup with extra crackers It wasCarl Carl always asked for extra crackers I began to know him so wellthat he no longer had to ask It was pure instinct to bring him at leastthree packets of the dry cheap saltines we served with the dailysoups He was situated in the back of the area we called the cove inhis mechanical wheelchair that was so substantial we had to move thetable forward to fit him in Carl fit all the stereotypes of a seniorcitizen overbearing glasses with balding white hair and weak legs thatforced him to use a machine to get around His stroke years ago hadrendered his legs useless but he was doing well considering his age of98 Since I had finished all my other cleaning I sat down next to himin the plush tacky covered dining chair How
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