I was born seven years early, or five years late. Everyone agreed on this. And on most things, save what to do with me. Had I been conceived a day later, or a day earlier, or on any other hour on the day in question, I would not have persisted. But I had, and I did. Generations had been laid out in mathematical precision and I was a rude drawing on the corner of the blackboard. I was mostly ignored, and largely untaught, so when things ended around me it mostly made sense. I had gone to the store and returned to find my family a garden of statues. Well, most of them were scattered around the compound, not in the garden proper, but they had turned to stone and it was a traumatic enough moment that I feel I’m due some artistic liberty.
His name was Leonard. He was the longest tenured resident at Autumn Valley. He’d been dropped off in the mid eighties when luxury assisted living had just become a thing. In the time that I’d worked there Leonard he’d never had a visitor, no flowers, no cards, no calls from skeevy grand-kids sniffing after the will. He had the best room in the place and the bill was always paid, but if there was anyone outside the residence that even knew he existed I’d never met them. He was my easiest patient and most trusted confidant so I tried to spend the extra time with him that my duties allowed.
Occasionally, on night shifts, I’d play a sort of Power of Attorney monopoly with him. I’d roll and move the pieces for us both, but when it came time to buy things or build motels I’d try to intuit what he’d do in that situation. Given the indifference of his deadbeat family, and the high quality of his single room and medical care, I figured he’d been successful and ambitious in life, the type to court risk and make aggressive moves. It’s a testament to either my fairness or poor karma that he generally won. Without exception he acquired Baltic avenue 2nd trip round the board and Mediterranean on the 3rd. I couldn’t stay out of his goddamn slums! The smug bastard wouldn’t even bother buying Boardwalk because he knew no one would land there, but he’d still buy Park Place just to screw me.