Mahashivaratri

Mahashivaratri

By Rebecca Braun.

It was a full moon, and the natives were getting restless. Call lights were on in all wings of the nursing facility, and we couldn’t seem to answer them fast enough before another room would have theirs lit up.

“Jackie, Gertrude needs to go to the toilet in room two-thirty-one, and Harold wants some juice in room two-fifty. Can you get them for me? I’m dealing with Lydia who has taken all her clothes off and is bouncing up and down on the bed.”

“I’ll do the best I can, I’ve got a bunch of bed wetter’s who need linen changes. What’s going on tonight, anyway?”

Before I could answer, loud music began coming from every hallway. Frank Sinatra bellowed out “My Way,” Dean Martin crooned about a “big pizza pie,” and then I heard Slim Whitman’s “Indian Love Call” down another hall.

“Beth!” Jackie called to me. “You gotta see this, come to room two-thirty!”

I finished getting Lydia’s nightgown back on, set her gently in a chair, and ran down the hall to see what Jackie was so excited about. I looked in the door and dropped my jaw. There was Sadie and William, buck naked, doing the nasty with the tune “Wild thang” blaring from a record player on the nightstand.

“At least the song playing in here is a little more with the times, eh, Beth?” Jackie and I looked at each other with wide eyes and burst out laughing.

“Where are they getting the strength and energy to do these crazy things tonight?”

We left the lovebirds to finish their lovemaking, heading back into the hall to find Richard and Ruth slow dancing. Fred and John, neither who had moved on their own for over a year, were having a wheelchair race. Many more residents were taking their clothes off and running after each other like sex-crazed maniacs. Nurses and CNA’s were hustling everywhere trying to get things under control.

“Leave them be,” spoke the old head nurse firmly, her voice projecting loudly down the hall. “It will all be over by morning. Let them enjoy themselves. There is no point in restraining them, as they will only hurt themselves.”

We walked toward her, wanting to know more.

“I’ve seen this happen once before, and it coincides with the Hindu festival of Mahashivaratri. It resembles the “Dance of Bliss” associated with the mythical god Shiva.”

“What does that mean in plain English?” Jackie asked.

“On rare occasions, on the thirteenth night of the new moon in the month of February, old folk are granted the five principle manifestations of eternal energy.”

“This is awesome, I love mythology. What kind of energy are they given?”

“The energies of creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and illusion.”

I looked at Jackie with a sarcastic grin, “I gotta be honest, this looks more like good old-fashioned perversion!”

Jackie and I grabbed hands and began to dance joyously with the residents. We both said it at the same time, “Party On!”

AUTHOR BIO

REBECCA BRAUN grew up in the Midwest, United States, and now resides in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her loyal border collie, May. They enjoy long walks and snowshoeing in the winter. She believes her writing inspiration comes through walking a spiritual path and being open to the universe. Her first career was in education, teaching music for over twenty years in the public school system. Now, she is pursuing a new career and passion, writing. https://www.facebook.com/aeternalumen

Photo by Tracy.

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