“Upon entering the room, the first thing we noticed was the smell.”(1)
The soft machine eased himself down into his usual spot on the couch. He reached for the remote, which was lodged somewhere between the sagging cushions. As he searched, a throaty gagging noise was getting louder from the porch. “Cally!” Cally was determined to cough up a hairball.
Success. The cat looked at her soggy creation with uninhibited pride. She sniffed it and walked back into the living room to join the old man.
“I woke up only to find myself in an air-conditioned nightmare.”(2)
The old man looked in the bathroom mirror one morning and reckoned that he was starting to resemble the Baron from Dune. His sun spots and stray hairs greeted him as usual, but when he squinted a bit he noticed a new lump on the lobe of his ear. It was hard to the touch, about the size of a piece of chewed gum, if you rolled it between your fingers into a ball. How long had that been there and what was it? Another boil? Cancer? “At some point, the exposure gets all of us.” he thought.
(1) Countless sources, usually to describe scenes of death and decay.
(2) Title of the book The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, Henry Miller, 1945