Harry's Pipe Dream
by Mary Cassells
by Mary Cassells
Harry’s eyes didn’t serve him as well as they once had, but in his still agile mind he could see things as they always had been. Everything in its place so he could easily lay hand on whatever he wanted. That was until his sister had arrived and started to “look after” him. But Doris hadn’t been in the garage and re-arranged things there, and Harry had no problem finding the hose pipe.
Bending down, he cut a length of pipe long enough to reach from the car exhaust to a side window. The effort of straightening to his feet caused the creases in his lined face to deepen, and he steadied himself by clutching the car’s bonnet. After running his hands lingeringly over the smooth metal, he raked gnarled fingers through sparse grey hair and smiled. They had taken his licence away after the cataracts took over, but the disused car could now serve a useful purpose.
Three months after Doris had invited herself for a visit, Harry was tired of not being allowed to smoke in his own home while his sister’s dog piddled on his carpets. He was weary of being bossed around by a woman he’d never liked anyway. Harry felt that a man was entitled to some peace at his time of life.
Grimly positioning the length of hose-pipe, he wound up the window, being careful not to crush the soft pipe and prevent the flow of fumes. He then adjusted his ill-fitting yellowing dentures and whistled softly.
Whimpering with each step, Jason came and leaned against the loosely hanging leg of Harry’s stained trousers. His arthritic knees emitting a sharp crack of protest, Harry bent his skeletal frame and scooped up the little dog. Averting his face from the animal’s foul breath and rancid fur, he quickly stroked the offensive head before shutting the car door.
Except for the layer of matted fur, Harry’s favourite seat was, for once, unoccupied. He turned the cushion over and gingerly lowered his aching body into the familiar comfort. Reaching for his beloved forbidden pipe, Harry sighed with the satisfaction of knowing that the key he’d just turned had released a miserable incontinent animal from permanent pain, and himself from daily heel-snapping and constant yapping irritation.
He had, of course, also released his sister from her reason for not being able to go into the home for the elderly.
Closing his eyes contentedly, Harry could clearly visualise his home restored to the way it had once been, with all his things back in their correct places.