ARIES (any year: 21/3 – 19/4)

Do you want to take a closer look at Aries? (careful - he's fast...)
Do you want to take a closer look at Aries? (careful - he's fast...)

What’s an Aries like when he gets older?  Noisy, that’s what.  Whether running around (usually breaking something along the way) or fighting (and making a ruckus about it), or talking on the phone (at the top of his lungs), (making noise), (so everyone around yells at him, too), (so he gets in a fight).

This isn’t just guesswork. Everybody who knows will tell you.  And it can be verified by those who live in the Nursing Home. It’s the horns. I’m not kidding.  It’s the horns, they swear. That’s what makes all that noise and causes trouble for no reason.  Those, and his curly character. He just can’t sit still, you know?  He's never calm.

Even first thing in the morning – all tension, and for no apparent reason.  Inexplicably intense.  He lives in an irrational state of panic. Like a tornado.

He gets out of bed in a state.  Covers, pillows, socks - all on the floor.   He bends over, puts his socks on any which way and runs off, as if someone had been chasing him in his sleep.   That's what he was dreaming about, he says: he's running to save himself.   He washes with one hand, dresses himself with the other. His shirt is buttoned crookedly, the zip breaks, the toothbrush falls on the floor - now he has to buy a new one.  He knocks over the crutch that his room-mate had set carefully against the wall - he must apologise now.

They would tell him when he was at school, and he wouldn’t listen.  He’s not going to start listening now, with his hearing going. He wears hearing aids all the time.  “Haste makes waste,” they used to tell him, but he just ran even faster.  He doesn’t listen, as we said.  He hurries, trips, falls down, sprains his ankle, drops his breakfast tray on the floor, kneels to pick up his toast, makes things worse, crumbs everywhere; he argues with the cleaning lady because the poor woman came to clean up and asked him politely to go wait in the sitting room and stop tormenting her.  Things here are becoming more and absurd.  This guy, an Aries, with an ego so big it is beyond containment - taking orders from someone else?   Never! He's up again, starts to run but because he is perceptive and clever, he doesn’t make the same mistake again.  Now he drops the tray with the tea - not the one with the toast.  Now, the lady will come after him with a mop, not a broom.  And if you ask him, he will honestly tell you that he hasn’t even realised what happened.  It was just an accident.  Why the fuss over a drop of tea on the floor?

A force to be reckoned with, is Taurus.  The other Nursing Home guests are worried he might knock them over with his every move, while the nursing staff fear the worst.  They tentatively enter the room each day, holding their breath in fear of what awaits them. Bruised leg? Bumps on the head? Shins injured in five different places?  They call on the head nurse to decide.  The expected happened, she determines.  What always happens.   What seems strange to the rest of the world and what seems strange for the rest of the month.  The fact that he has spent his entire pension by the second day and now can’t even afford a stick of gum.  That’s not the head nurse’s opinion; he says so himself. In fact, he is the only one who can make such a determination and not by assuming, but by testing.  Only after he has tested everything can he confirm anything. Indeed, the wall does not collapse if you fall onto it with force. Indeed, the water in the fountain is not deep enough for someone to dive in head-first. Indeed, it is better not to try the head nurse’s patience beyond its limits.

Impulsiveness is what afflicts Aries, not stupidity.  Enthusiasm about action, about experiences, about new goals.  Isn’t the goal to buy a state-of-the-art mobile phone like the one they advertise on TV and costs as much as his entire pension?  Of course it is.  There goes his pension, and there goes the phone.  He broke it the instant he took possession of it.  That haste we were talking about.

Isn’t it his goal to put the drop on the lady in the next room?  Not drop her, exactly, that would be easy.  But to win her over, that’s harder.  To put the romantic drop on her, since she plays hard to get and that makes him even angrier.  Whenever she sees him in the corridor, she flips her hair, shuffles along in her slippers and walks in the opposite direction, as if she hadn’t seen him.  So, the other day, he stole the ladder, carried it to the garden, climbed up and looked at her through the window.  She couldn’t shuffle off now.  Of course, she could still flip her hair, and so she did, she smiled, hesitantly opened the window and let him hold her by the waist and sing a forgotten tango for her.

Isn’t the goal for him to do whatever he wants, whenever he gets it into his head?  Wasn’t that always his goal?  To run the red light, to knock over his glass as he drank, to tear down the fence so he could escape, to defy rules in order to live, to sail from one end of the corridor to the other on his scooter that he’d kept since he was in high school.  He's a teenager.  Don’t let the wrinkles fool you.  He’s a teenager at heart and acts like a teenager in an adult world.  And ultimately, that’s the most beautiful thing and the most damaging.

By Konstantina Tassopoulou

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