Madame Serieuse, a nurse administrator – she’s always hurrying about with an armful of dossiers – lectured us on the importance of hand washing.
She delivered the lecture again in the afternoon to four of us – two patients and two guests – who were playing bridge in the salon. We laid down our cards and sat, as incapable of play as Dummy, while she listed all the horrors attendant on people who didn’t wash their hands.
I couldn’t help noticing there were no bottles of Aniosgel in the salon. Nor were there any in the television room or in the foyer. Why not?
Madame Serieuse said they’d removed all bottles of the hand wash from public display. People were drinking it, she said.
But it’s a gel, I said. How can anyone drink a gel?
I glanced at my hand. I tried to imagine being so desperate for an alcoholic drink that I’d lick gel from my hand. I considered making a wisecrack about the wine in the dining room being bad, but not that bad. I glanced at Madame Serieuse and decided against it. She didn’t look as though she’d appreciate the joke.