As We Are Now: A Novel

By May Sarton

"I am now not mad, simply previous. . . . i'm in a focus camp for the old."

So starts off may possibly Sarton's brief, rapid blow of a singular, concerning the powerlessness of the outdated and the craze it will possibly carry. As we're Now tells the tale of Caroline Spencer, a 76-year-old retired schoolteacher, mentally powerful yet bodily frail, who has been moved through family right into a "home." Subjected to sophisticated humiliations and petty cruelties, sustained for too brief a time through the affection of another individual, she fights again with all she has, and in a strong climax wins a poor victory.

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Yet i have to no longer reside in this if attainable. occasionally outdated humans think that everybody is opposed to them. they've got delusions of persecution. i need to now not fall into that catch. it truly is larger to grin on the photo of that giant white Cadillac turning off macadam onto a coarse airborne dirt and dust highway, the rain—of direction it needed to be raining, and never only a quiet rain, yet a true downpour that might make nearly somebody ponder development an ark! I questioned even if Ginny had taken a fallacious turning. after we stopped at a small crimson farmhouse that appeared as if it have been steadily sinking into the dust for years, i assumed it needs to be to invite instructions. there has been no signal, in simple terms elms—the nursing house is known as “Twin Elms. ” 5 huge, immense ducks stretched out their necks and hissed at us once we bought out of the auto. i realized there has been a barn over to the best. within the rain, the complete position appeared enclosed in darkness. “Well,” John acknowledged, “here we're, Caro. ” His voice had turn into unnaturally joyful within the approach voices do whilst addressing kids or the feeble-minded. there have been doorways, however the entrance door opened right into a sea of dust and used to be obviously no longer used. Ginny had parked as regards to the facet door. We driven our means in with no ringing end result of the downpour. Even in these jiffy I obtained drenched. there has been no corridor. We discovered ourselves in a wide room with 4 or 5 beds in it. there has been no mild on. It took a second ahead of i spotted that beside every one mattress an previous guy sat on a immediately chair. One had his head in his arms. A more youthful guy, whose legs have been bandaged and who was once part mendacity and part sitting in a kind of clinical rocker, attempted to talk yet part choked. He was once sincerely out of his brain. in spite of the fact that, he smiled, the single individual in that room who did or who may. Ginny referred to as out loudly, “Here we're! Is there somebody domestic? ” Then a massive girl crammed the entrance, wiping her palms on her apron. “Oh … well,” she stated, as though she have been taken unexpectedly. “My daughter is simply making up leave out Spencer’s room. yet i suppose you could cross in now. ” She laughed. “We’re up tight nowadays, no position to invite you to sit. ” I had had such a lot of shocks through then that I felt particularly numb and purely desired to be left on my own once attainable. My middle begun up and that i was once afraid i would faint. however it was once a convenience to discover that I had a room of my very own, simply large enough for a mattress, an armchair, and a bureau. The mattress was once parallel to the window, and the window appeared out, a lot to my astonishment, on an extended box with tall bushes on the finish and, past them, mild hills. “Look on the view,” Ginny stated. “Isn’t it wonderful? ” “What is that woman’s identify? ” I requested in a whisper. I had the sensation already that even a whisper will be heard. “Mrs. Hatfield—Harriet Hatfield. She is a informed nurse. ” (That is what Ginny stated, yet after all she should have recognized that Mrs. Hatfield’s in basic terms event have been as an aide within the nation clinic for 2 years. ) “She and her daughter paintings very difficult to maintain issues going the following. ” there has been airborne dirt and dust lower than the bureau and an previous piece of Kleenex.

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