Earlier in life, Leon Phillips was a school teacher until some sad event had necessitated a change in employment. Leon had then taken a job as a 'cook's helper' in an institution. Leon's primary job as cook's helper was to stir a large basin of steaming water. Into this basin was dumped a random selection of limp, aging vegetables which were boiled and stirred until any remaining flavor had yielded to the homogeneous mass.
Over the years, stirring the floor-level basin with a boat paddle, Leon's large body had conformed to the job at hand. His back had begun to slope permanently over the basin. His shoulders had curved inward toward his chest in an insect-like manner, adjusting to the task of making short, circular paddle strokes in the hot liquid. Leon stirred this basin of liquid with a melancholy, inward gaze until his early retirement for health reasons, at age 62 - Leon's work had over-exaggerated the unnatural bends in his posture until his body had found it difficult to perform other human activities, such as standing erect, or moving from one place to another.
After his retirement, Leon's body, rather than beginning the change back to normalcy, continued in it's journey to the 'something different' that the basin, the heat, the mindlessness of the task at hand, had begun. The curve in his back had developed into a skyward hump, pushing his head forwards and down. The forward arch of his shoulders had continued until it appeared that his body was now trying to encircle some invisible object pressed to his chest.
Leah was Leon's wife. Leah's appearance had refused to yield to any inevitable decay. Leah's heart was sick. As her weak, broken heart daily threatened to abandon it's vocation, her outward appearance maintained a gentle beauty. Her dark hair of earlier years had aged to a silver perfection. Her gentle smile was now reinforced with creases that spoke with confidence and warmth. Her demeanor barely revealed the efforts this, or any other task required.