The Dad Delusion

There were three floors of corridors, each one consisting of eight rooms – four on either side. Each floor was dimly lit by stuttering lightbulbs, which gave the crimson laundry boxes I’d placed outside the rooms two hours beforehand an intermittent glow.

The two o’ clock round was my favourite. The fresh waft created as I pushed the laundry-laden trolley along the corridors provided temporary respite from the otherwise omnipresent scent of urine, faeces and death.

When I had started the job, aged seventeen, I was assured I would grow accustomed to these smells. I was now nineteen. I was also told I would become used to undertaking the ‘personal care’.

I’m not sure what kind of monster becomes accustomed to the cowering shame in an old man’s eyes as he farts and follows through whilst you lift him from his wheelchair to the toilet; his face perennially flecked with…

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