Clipped Wings

We have a friend from High School that resides in a assisted living facility. He has a great memory of things that happened in the past..but his short term memory is lost. Too many wild days in the late 1960’s, that lasted well into the 1970’s and 1980’s. His brain was a tad damaged by drugs. Partially fried..just like the egg in the hot frying pan commercial. He cannot remember to take medications, he doesn’t remember to eat, or pay bills, or what happened yesterday or even this morning.

There are a number of birds in the bird room at the facility that he lives in.  Some of the birds flight feathers have been clipped. They are trapped and doomed to a life of hopping from one branch to the next. If they try to go further they will flap their little wings for dear life. Unable to forage far afield for their food, they rely on people for their basic needs of food, water and shelter. Our friend who I will call TS can’t go far either. I suppose he could walk. Far Guy spends some time with him..they "do lunch" or just hang out in the bird room..talking about high school memories. Sometimes they just go for drives..two old day they forgot to sign TS out. I wonder if it makes a difference if you forget that you forgot.


I didn’t particularly like my time in High School. I graduated with a bunch of pious pukes that were full time assholes. There are only a few of my classmates I would give you a nickle for. Now, Far Guy was in the class I should have been in..his class was cool. I was too young to be in that cool today’s standards I should have been two years behind Far Guy. I was seventeen my entire Senior year, and I was bored to tears. I just wanted out of there, I wanted to move on, I wanted to learn but not the boring old stuff they taught in High School. I was only challenged for one hour everyday in an Advanced Biology Class. I read during the other classes I had..just getting by doing the minimum required. I consider my Senior year to be a total waste of time..I was just marching in place..flapping around just like one of those caged birds in TS’s facility. I wonder sometimes, I bitched, complained and read through my senior year..I think TS probably drank and did recreational drugs to survive.. choices. The poor little birds don’t have much of a choice..but as teenagers we did..and I am thankful for the choices I made:)


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7 Responses to Clipped Wings

  1. wanderer says:

    I can relate. My wife just lost her brother. He died last night (friday) around midnight. Most of his adult life was haunted by demons. He suffered from schizophrenia. For alot of years he did nothing but smoke cigarettes and drink coca cola.
    In his final days, he was on a morphine drip, along with anti-anxiety medicine to control his fidgiting. He went through cancer treatment, the cancer returned, and he refused more chemotherapy.
    He was made comfortable, and allowed to die quietly and peacefully. He died alone, in a room by himself, with only night staff there to check up on him occassionally.
    My wife last visited him on friday afternoon. He was unresponsive, his breathing was shallow, and he was 119 pounds. He was 56 years old.
    I didn’t understand his illness, so I had little contact with him. However, when I did see him, I treated him with respect, and shook his hand in greeting.
    He jumped off a 3 story building once, in a feeble attempt at suicide, or to gain attention. He smashed up his ankles, and after surgeries, there after walked around with a wobbly, hobbled 90 year old man gait.
    He was a ward of the state for most of his adult life, and in death, the state will take care of the financial burden of laying him to rest.
    A sad end, to a short, and lonely life. God bless my wife’s brother.

  2. Far Side of Fifty says:

    Wanderer, I am sorry, please give my condolences to your wife. The death of a family member is never easy:(

  3. TechnoBabe says:

    It is always sad to hear about someone like TS who did the drugs and didn’t let them go. I think my hubby did drugs and drinking for 27 years and I am so grateful for his sake that he has memory and can participate fully in his life. He is 60 now and it could be so much worse. I so understand about high school. In my case, I attended 4 high schools so I didn’t join anything, just wanted to get it over with. That is nice that Far Guy visits his friend from school.

  4. buffalo gal says:

    I hate to see caged birds and the clipped wings makes it even worse. IN the nursing home where my only Aunt now lives they have an Aviary but the birds can fly and they can reproduce! The doves have had multiple babies this winter!!! They are so sweet. Now one Dove is sitting on a another clutch of the 2 eggs they lay. She is going to hatch two more dove chicks pretty soon.
    Too bad about the drug-burned friend from HS. Some people choose to kill themselves slowly don’t they?

  5. buffalogal says:

    P S I think I just spotted a Finnish flag next to my boyfriend, Chance!!!

  6. abra la mente says:

    I understand your boredom in high school; most of my friends were a year or two older, so when they graduated, I just didn’t want to be there. I’ve only gone to one reunion–that was enough. Although I didn’t always make the best choices in high school, I certainly did a 180 after high school. I still get razzed sometimes about how much I changed after high school. I think I found the ‘real me.’ The ‘high school me’ was just trying to fit in somewhere.

  7. Jan says:

    Comeon FarSide. Tell us what you really thought about your classmates!! HeHe! We had a fun class. Often in trouble through the years, but nothing like today’s kids. Just mischief.

    Having an all school prom this summer. Last year for the old building. Taking the Mustang and getting gussied up to go!

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