Chocolate and Gold Coins

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Habits of Very Old Men

I used to work in an upscale apartment building for seniors. I was a night security guard. Occasionally I would have to help a resident who had fallen and could not get up. Sometimes I would have to make a minor repair like fixing a stopped up toilet (never fun). But mostly I just studied all night long.

When I came in at the late evening, the daytime guard would tell me things that happened that day. He told me of this odd fellow Mr. R. Morton who would stand behind the mailman and make sure that he delivered no incorrect mail in his mailbox. Apparently, the mailman had placed something intended for Mr. Morton F. in Mr. R. Morton’s box by mistake. Well, mistakes happen. But it really bothered Mr. R. Morton and he insisted on pestering the mailman everyday thereafter to make certain that it never happened again.

Well, it turns out there is more to the story than just that. I have a guess about exactly what it was that wound up in Mr. R. Morton’s mailbox and why it bothered him so much.

First, I will give a little background on the two “Mortons”. Both of them were in their 80’s and both had lost their wives (or maybe divorce – I don’t really know). R. Morton was a lawyer and rarely talked to other residents. Morton F. seemed a gentle old man who shuffled along in baby steps. He liked to chat with the elderly ladies. He later fell and broke his hip.

Mr. Morton F. called down one evening saying that his toilet kept running. This was a common problem because the toilets still had the old chain stoppers. The chain would get tangled and then the tank valve would not close and water would run forever. It was important to fix this problem right away or else literally tons of water would be wasted.

I went up to fix his toilet. I just had to lift the lid of the tank. But I had to remove the things that Mr. Morton F. put on the tank first. And I could not believe what Mr. Morton F.’s had on his toilet lid: something like this. I had to suppress a huge urge to smile.

Leaving Mr. Morton F.’s apartment I had mixed feeling about him. On the one hand, I thought Mr. Morton F. was a dirty old man: why would someone in his 80’s want to look at the mammaries of the 20-somethings featured in the magazine? It seemed revolting. But on the other hand, I had to admire the fact that he could keep the flame of desire burning all the way into his declining days. I am only in my 40’s and already I am more inclined to fondle a chocolate cake.


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