I sit on a bright red deck chair savoring the warmth of the winter sun, enjoying a glass of cognac and a fine cigar.
Six days ago, ten inches of fluffy white snow rendered the patio unusable, dreary, cold, and covered by winter's frozen white cloak.
As I sit, I reflect on images of those convalescing in asylums, sitting near windows, in high-backed oak chairs with wooden wheels, woven cane seats and backs, blankets wrapped about their legs, absorbing the warmth of the sun, and aimlessly staring at a glistening blanket of freshly fallen snow, blue skies overhead. Though their eyes are open, do they really see?
I further reflect on images of white uniformed attendants moving those convalescing to spots where the sun's rays will shine directly upon them, warming them. I do not recall anyone smiling, not those in high-backed wooden chairs wheeled to bask in the sun's warming rays, nor the attendants who wheel them to where they can relish the comforts of the sun on that cold winter day.
For five days I was ill. During the period of my illness, the snow melted. It pleases me to inhale deeply the fresh, brisk winter air. I have no attendant. I position myself precisely where I sit to absorb the bright rays rendering the sun's warmth. I have no blanket wrapped about my legs. My chair is red, not oak with cane inserts. My chair has no wheels.
These things considered, I believe I am not convalescing in an asylum. I am not confined to an oak wheelchair with woven cane seat and back and with tall wooden wheels encircled with solid black rubber tires. I am not rolled about by white uniformed attendants unable to smile. I am pleased to declare it is my good fortune to not be an invalid under anyone's domain or care and still capable of moving about freely. I enjoy another cognac and watch my breath and the smoke from my cigar become visible mist that hangs and lingers in the cold winter air. I am still alive. I may still be sane.
Therefore, unlike the others, I smile.