Mr Ostler is 87 years old. He smells of urine, antibiotics and muscle rub, and his pearly, watery eyes shake as they pace through the room. ‘He is alive’, is the most one can say about him.
Mr Ostler’s life moves like the slow hand on a clock; uneventful and mundane, but he believes that every precious moment left of his life, is a blessing from God.
Mr. Prokley is Mr Ostler’s carer. Mr. Prokley tends to Mr.Ostler best he can and keeps him company day in and day out.
Mr Prokley is 35 years old. He is a quiet man and a perfectionist with neatly combed hair. Mr Prokley is at Mr. Ostler’s bedside every morning when he wakes up and he leaves long after Mr. Ostler switched off his reading lamp. Mr Ostler’s life is Mr Prokley’s routine.
Not much is said between the two men. Mr Prokley knows what Mr Ostler needs and Mr Ostler knows how to demand it.
“Mr Prokley, do you know what keeps me awake at night?” asks Mr Ostler one morning as Mr Prokley pours him his first cup of tea, “The things I have said to people.”
Mr Prokley lifts Mr. Ostler from his pillows to change his sheets.
The room fills with regret.
Image ‘For A Moment’ FR Lubbe
Text: FR Lubbe, from the unpublished book ‘5’