She goes on in an elevated voice as if talking to a child. "A big strong man like you shouldn't be in here, you should be out in the world fighting evil."
In the morning I wake to the sound of an eagle
The wings whoosh at my window as my eyelids open to an out of focused room that is still dark. "Good morning" I say to no one in particular. And it is a good morning. I have come through sleep once again safe from the grasp of the eagle's talons.
"How did you go last night," will say Helen with a mischievous little smile at the side her mouth which she has to hide every morning. "No eagle got you. Once again you must have been able to fight them off." She goes on in an elevated voice as if talking to a child. "A big strong man like you shouldn't be in here, you should be out in the world fighting evil."
"Yes, I know" I play along with the big woman's annoying banter. "I should be out fighting wars and saving babies from the clutches of wolves and teenagers from drowning in treacherous seas."
"My thoughts exactly, Jack."
"So why have they locked me in this old people's home where you need to come along and help me out of bed. Where you wipe my bum in the morning, and the little Chinese girl, what's her name…"
"Lin Cho wipes the rest of me in the shower."
"Either because you can't do it Jack, or I am paying for terrible sins I committed in a previous life." Helen continues to fuss about with the bed and getting me dressed and …
"Okay take these"
"What are they" I ask suspiciously looking at the bean shaped things in her hand.
Helen rolls her eyes as she does every morning. "Come on, Jack, they're the same thing you take every morning. Tablets that'll keep you going."
"Keep me going? What for?"
"Well if you're gone, Jack, who will fight off the eagles? Come on, take them, Lin is almost ready to give you a shower."
I pick up the tablets in Helen's hand and take the tall glass of water. I take one and follow it with a drink of water. The another and another.
Outside the eagle continues to swoop and glide. I can hear it clearly. Sometimes the sound gets very loud and I have to place my hands over my ears and press hard to keep the sound down.