Human Condition: Making a dream come true _lowres


Some weeks ago, I found myself in the operating room of our local hospital.

It was a delicate cardiac procedure for which I had been preparing for quite a few weeks.

Several hours later, semi-conscious, drugged, confused, bandaged and in excruciating pain, I was rolled into the recovery room.

The latest in medicine calls for the patient to become active and start walking around as soon as possible.

So, by the second day, in spite of my incessant and brazen objections, the nurses pulled me out of bed, dragged me around the room and then returned me gasping and panting into the comfort zone of my bed.

The following day, facing the same routine but aware of the uselessness of my protestations, I let myself be hauled around once again by the nurses. This time, my walking extended painfully to a few feet beyond the room entrance door.

Looking forward to being helped back into bed, I heard instead the announcement that I am due to take a shower.

Thinking that perhaps this was the nurse’s peculiar sense of humor and barely having a chance to realize she meant it, two strong, attractive young aides untied my gown and left me standing stark naked in the shower.

The spray of warm water felt unexpectedly pleasant, and seconds later, I was ordered to soap myself, which I clumsily attempted to do when a perplexing thought came to my mind: In my younger days, I would dream of being in the shower with a beautiful woman. Now, well into my eighth decade, my youthful dream is a reality. But at what cost? All I want is to be left alone!

— Kariouk lives in Baton Rouge

Advocate readers may submit stories of about 500 words to the Human Condition at or The Advocate, EatPlayLive, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810. There is no payment, and stories will be edited. Authors should include their city of residence.