Grandview Nursing Home, Canoga Park, California, Earth
Mr. Hoo Nun's room
Hoo Nun watched two nurses unpack the few boxes that comprised his
worldly goods. He lay sunken in his new hospital bed studying them
from his prone position. The large hospital window offered a
restful view of an oak tree with the orange-red leaves of autumn.
The younger of the two nurses turned to glance at the old Asian man who
had a reputation for babbling about his fantasies and delusions.
caught her glance before the other nurse, who had warned her not to get
him started, could pull her back. He asked her, “Do you know
what happened?” He spoke with a thick accent. She assumed
it was a Chinese accent, but an expert would say that it really
me?” She tilted her head to one side afraid she misplaced
something of his
during the room transfer. The other nurse,
five years her senior and far more experienced with Mr. Hoo Nun’s
idiosyncrasies, decidedly ignored him.
looked at an ornately carved, golden rod he had been fiddling with and
asked her again, “Do you know what happened?” Then without
waiting for a response he continued, “I am not talking about the move,
or what happen yesterday, or even the day before. I am talking about
this,” he held up the rod, “about what lies at the roots of human
older nurse leaned toward her and whispered out of the side of her mouth
in a sort of singsong voice like a mother admonishing a child, “Don’t