LEO (any year: 23/07 – 22/08)
What does a Leo do when he gets older? He makes an impression. Isn’t that what he always did? Isn’t that what he's supposed to do, to be precise? Of course it was, and because, had he been secluded in his house he wouldn’t be able to impress anyone other than his own mirror, he decided to move. To go and settle down elsewhere. Where he can enjoy the admiration and applause. No, he is not necessarily an actor. He may be a dancer, a musician, or a political scientist. He could be a geologist, a sociologist or a gerontologist. He could be anything, as long as the accolades rained down on him.
Someone with similar proclivities recommended a good nursing home. “You should go,” they said, “they will worship you there as you deserve.” He made the decision on the spot and he has been here for a few days already, after making his grand entrance. Velvet tail coat, patent leather shoes and a gold bow tie. I mean, even if everyone has advanced cataracts there, they can’t fail to notice him!
But you know, this attention-seeking, it's a very sensitive issue. It’s a little risky, a bit of a gunpowder keg, it’s not really clear and it’s not measurable. There is the attention that an average person seeks, and then there’s Leo. The average person, for example, comes down to the dining room, says good morning, people say good morning back, and it’s all good. But it’s not that simple. This “good morning” is not simple at all; it’s the beginning of the end. You don’t just say “good morning” to Leo that way, don’t you know that? You say it, yes, but you also have to add a lot of other things. There is a whole accompaniment of things. How well you look; how glamorous you are; how well-dressed you are; what an amazing hat you’re wearing; what a pity you haven’t been here with us all this time, to brighten up the place! Can you tell him those kinds of things? If you can’t, you’d better sit at another table, or go eat in another room to cover yourself, because you should know it’s going to be an issue.
Not being in the mood for a lot of chatter may be an excuse in other cases, but not here. Why didn’t you flatter Leo? Why didn’t you pay him compliments? Why didn’t you sing his praises? Of course he's grand and dignified, but why didn’t you acknowledge it? If you have satisfactory answers, by all means, offer them; otherwise, good luck. Fortunately, he immediately found what he needs at the nursing home where he went. The owner knows the case very well and he keeps words of praise on the tip of his tongue and flattery at the ready. He pleases Leo, and he covers up for everyone else. To be honest, which we should be, we have to admit that poor Leo (don’t let him hear you call him that) does nothing to make life difficult in there. Quite the opposite: he makes it easy.
Initially, he is deeply kind, not at all doleful and always smiling. Being down in the dumps does not suit him. Besides, he deplores getting caught up in pettiness and intrigue. He is above it all; and he is also lavish. With emotions, with space, with comfort. On the other hand, what does he want? His throne. A regal armchair and a place to stand by the window. Whoever wishes to approach should do so with respect. It should be a solemn approach. Just passing through, saying “hi” to everyone and moving on is just not acceptable, since Leo has become ensconced here. He requires a special greeting, perhaps even a handshake. The payment of respects. That’s all.
But consider the fact that there are at least four to five hours between each meal, and Leo needs a full three hours to prepare each dazzling outfit. You see how little people really see of him, and how much they come to miss him. He is not around long enough to become a drudgery. So, since it doesn’t require much effort, might as well say something nice to make him feel good. Don’t be stingy. He is never stingy about anything, ever.
As soon as he collects his pension, he buys everyone glazed fruit and always makes sure to have a special gift for birthdays or name days. A tablet for his roommate, a mobile phone with a touch screen for the friend he eats with, a laptop for the lady who has piqued his interest. He may not be very tech-savvy, but he knows the things he buys are expensive, worthwhile and will be appreciated by the recipients. As we said, that’s what is important. Impressions.
To make an impression, he decided the other day to pay a trained, educated interior decorator, a graduate of a famous design college, to redecorate his room. Burgundy velvet, Louis XV table and a chaise lounge so he can recline in regal style. That’s how he wants to live at the nursing home. He is anxiously awaiting the delivery. He also had a red carpet laid in the bathroom and he now has nothing to worry about, except the lady who has caught his eye. It’s not just that everything is of interest to him. It’s that these things often end up being a problem. He went to speak to her the other day and though he deigned to nod his head ever-so-slightly and look into her eyes, she turned her back on him and walked off, leaving him standing in the corridor. Just like that. Despite the owner's assurances that the security camera was the only witness to this tragic incident, and despite the assurances of the lady herself, an actual witness who swears on all she holds dear that she is incontinent (which is why she ran off so abruptly), it has not been possible to eradicate this unpleasant feeling of rejection that is so discordant to this nature.