He starts each morning on his knees. Even now, with two artificial knees, when his alarm clock goes off at 6:30, (he's already been awake for ten or fifteen minutes waiting for it, wishing he wouldn't have to,) he swings his legs around and gets down on his knees. Today he prays for strength and energy to face life. He feels done sometimes. Terrified of dying, but without the energy to face movement. Or choices.
He's already eliminated as many choices as possible. After praying and taking care of his daily hygiene routine, he goes downstairs and eats oatmeal. Not that instant crap, mind you. He takes real oats and water and brown sugar and blue berries and makes himself a bowl of warm oatmeal. His daughter once made the mistake of trying to get him to change this habit. It was summer and she tried to convince him that it was too hot for oatmeal and he should try a bowl of strawberries. He was cranky the rest of the weekend she spent with him. So much so, that she left early. She claimed it was that the kids needed her home, but he knew better.
It was just as well, he was used to his routine and didn't like it changed. He didn't like seeing a light in the hallway in the middle of the night (10 pm,) or finding women's pink and powdery items on the edge of the sink. Ah! And someone else's toothpaste in the sink! Horrible.
After breakfast, he washes the dishes, dries them and puts them away, then goes for a walk. He walks the same route every day. Up 3rd Avenue ten blocks to the edge of town, turns right on 15th Street, walks two blocks, then right on 5th Avenue ten blocks to 5th Street, right again, and then back to his house on 3rd. Then he reads the paper cover to cover and drinks a pot of Folger's coffee.
For lunch he eats a bologna and cheese sandwich with mayo and an apple. Meals on wheels brings him his dinner, which he never likes, but at least he doesn't have to decide what to make. Then he watches tv and goes to bed at 8:30.
Every five years he paints the outside of the house the same dusty light blue color. Before he does, he washes the windows. It make sense since he's going to get the ladder out anyway. His daughter has pled with him this time around not to get up on the ladder, to hire someone to do it. Imagine! Hiring someone to paint the house? Unthinkable. When she offers to pay for it and he doesn't respond, she says to think about it and they hang up. He gets the ladder out the next morning after his walk and washes the windows.
He eats his lunch, his dinner, goes to bed at 8:30. Gets up at 6:30, prays, hygiene, eats, and goes for his walk.
He has finished the first nine blocks when a man appears with a ski mask. The man holds something against his ribs and tells him not to move, just to give him his wallet and not make a fuss.
He has a choice to make. One he can't eliminate with a walk or oatmeal. He has a choice to make.