CAPRICORN

CAPRICORN (any year: 22/12 – 19/01)

Do you want to take a closer look at Capricorn? (careful - his horns are sharp...)
Do you want to take a closer look at Capricorn? (careful - his horns are sharp...)

What does a Capricorn do when he gets older? He sorts you out. What else is there to do? It’s not like he had time to get you organised when he was younger. How could he, the state you’re in. It’s not his fault. He has obsessed for years, until his horns curled round, that life is a serious matter, like a career. So it needs a manger. It needs a general. A leader at the wheel. What leader? What a ridiculous question. Capricorn, of course.

Fortunately, some people have got the right idea and they placed him in a very good, well-organised nursing home. Here’s a super nursing home, they said, let’s put him in charge. They didn’t say so in so many words, but he knew what they meant. This is no joke. If not to put him in charge, why take him there in the first place? To supervise and keep an eye on things. Don’t be fooled by the subtle signs of dementia. His mind is up to the task. It must be, because none of the others are capable.

Capricorn has to guide and advise the nurse. How exactly is she going to lift the old man in the opposite bed, does she know? She has no idea, see? Despite her four years of study and last year’s months-long seminars, she still doesn’t know. He's the one who has to tell her how to give an injection; he’s the one who has to tell her how to take a temperature; he's the one who has to tell her which hand to use to feed the guy who can’t eat alone; and she’s the one who has been saving up lots of things to tell him, but she is respectful of his age, and she also doesn’t want to lose her job, otherwise...

Capricorn is incredibly serious - even about the little things. The trivial things. Yesterday, he was playing backgammon with a gentleman from the other sitting room, and not a sound was heard. Not a single die fell to the floor, nor a checker slapped noisily down on the board. Silence, gravitas, and as soon as his opponent left a checker open, instead of taking it, he instructed him on how to secure it. But he wasn’t allowed to enjoy all this because some irresponsible person went and opened the other door - the main entrance - and left it open, so he had to get up, go and close it properly, pull the latch, explain to everyone around how harmful drafts can be for one’s health and then request a meeting with the owner. He had to see him personally in his office and put forth all his arguments and ideas for better organisation that would improve the facility’s structure and prevent such incidents from ever happening again. He never wondered why his opponent had disappeared by the time he returned. Not for a second. He grabbed a Sudoku puzzle and kept at it until he dozed off. At least he could put the numbers in order, since he couldn’t keep all those other fools in line.

For the last few days, Capricorn hasn’t been himself because things have happened that were not part of his well-thought out life plan. Initially, without even realising it, he took an unreasonable liking to a newly arrived lady with hair in a bob who comes down in the morning with a spring in her step, carrying her laptop, and goes to work in the sun room. Real work. With numbers, agreements, results and a blue Parker pen. He pretended his own computer was out of order so he could start a conversation, but for months now, their chat has been purely along technical, professional and mathematical lines, like a dull Excel file where you just add columns and rows each day, but no matter what you do, it can never become a Power Point presentation. You see, the lady is also a Capricorn.

And on top of that, something far more terrible happened. His friend passed. The man who slept in the same room for the last eight months, the man who would say “good morning” to him before anyone else, the man who would listen to him without complaint, no matter how annoying he could be. His friend passed away, and though that happened according to plan, two months after the deceased had his 97th birthday, and though he could thoroughly explain it and deal with it logically, it seems he is not handling it at all well. And now, some nights when he goes to bed, he pulls the covers up over his head and cries. He cries because he misses his friend and because he loved him. Of course Capricorn knows how to love. He has known since he was young and was full of deep feelings; he just organised the surface to perfection so he wouldn’t have to show how emotional he really is.

By Konstantina Tassopoulou

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