The story centers on an elderly gentleman, Mr. Hank Crute, as he deals with the trials and tribulations of a day in the life of a resident of Spring Valley Retirement Home, mediocre food, conniving females, and an unexpected Doctor’s visit.
But aside from Hank dealing with his daily annoyances, there’s a deeper, more important message in the story.
Imagine, if you will, learning from an unimpeachable source that from here on out, day after day and week after week, your life will be a continuous cognitive decline. You will go from forgetting where your keys are or not remembering why you walked into a room, to forgetting people’s names and eventually forgetting the people themselves. The smiles and faces dearest to you in the world will, sooner or later, be utterly lost to you, and there will be no reversal, no appeal, no reprieve.
What do you do? Do you get out now, while the going’s good? Probably not. Living is a hard habit to break. Most of us would probably just muddle along, losing more and more until the shadows had fully descended and it would be too late. We would no longer be able to mourn our losses because we would have no memory of what we had lost.
Now, imagine that someone offers to make the call for you. Gauge the exact moment when you have slipped into oblivion and afford you the release you no longer have the capacity or awareness to effect for yourself. Do you take them up on it, knowing you will have no memory of the arrangement? What would be your criterion? What would be the point beyond which you will not allow yourself to slip?
These are the end-of-life questions that haunt “ Banana Triangle Six”. In my time of life, I know they haunt me, and I’ll bet they haunt a lot of you as well.