Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Notes from the Home - April 8, 2014

   The rain stopped, the sky brightened a bit, and I went to meander through the parking lots before the clouds wept anew. A boy and a girl – preschoolers, or just-barely-schoolers – got out of a car. The girl had an umbrella which she couldn’t get to open. Frustrated, she stomped her foot in one of the ubiquitous puddles, splashing water on her mother, who was just getting out of the car.
   “Sharon Rene, stay out of that water,” the mother said.
   It was reassuring to realize that really angry mothers still call their misbehaving children by both their first and middle names. Mother hustled Sharon Rene across the parking lot to the sidewalk. Little brother, trailing behind, found a puddle and jumped into it, creating a mighty splash. It was comforting to see that, like their mothers, kids haven’t changed either.

   On my way down the long hallway this morning, I met Barb coming the other way.
   “Did you go for your morning walk?” she asked.
   “Just getting back. Had to get out there before it starts raining again,” I said.
   “It’s nice to finally see the sun ,” Barb said. “All that rain and now some sunshine; people are going to be out fertilizing their lawns. Then in a few weeks, they’ll be bitching about having to cut the grass.”
   And it’s reassuring to know there are still some salty-tongued old broads out there too.
   A conversation between two women I overheard in the dining room recently:
   “What are you going to watch tonight?”
   “Jeopardy? I don’t like that show. The questions are too hard.”
   “I like it because I learn things from it.”
   “What have you learned?”
   “Well, the other night I learned something. I was really proud of myself for learning something new. But when I got up the next morning, I couldn’t remember what it was.”

   Shortly after nine o’clock Friday evening, someone knocked on my door.
   “Come in,” I said, and Richie, having had a six-pack or two too many. did.
   “I’m curious,” he said, darting into the apartment and trying to get passed me and the wheelchair without so much as a hello.
   “Curious about what?” I asked, reaching toward the refrigerator in order to block his only way through.
   “How loud my TV is.”
   “I can’t even hear it tonight,” I said, as he bumped up against my arm hoping I’d lower it and let him through. I didn’t.
   “You’re always complaining about my TV,” he said, turning to leave. “Go ahead, lock the door behind me.”
   I did. And I wondered about Richie. He would do anything for you, but he’s terribly overbearing when he’s sober and unbearably obnoxious when he’s drunk. And I wondered about him coming over to see how loud his TV was. Richie has told me he’s hard of hearing.
   “I try to keep it as low as I can, but my hearing is not good,” he told me a week ago.
So, how would he know if his TV were loud enough to disturb me?

   Looking out my porch door this morning, I spotted Al going outside carrying a roll of paper towels and a Styrofoam cup, probably filled with coffee. He put the cup on the roof of the car and used the paper towels to wipe the pollen off the car window. When he’d cleaned all the windows, he got in the car and drove off. I’m wondering how far he got before the coffee cup was blown from the top of the car. It should make interesting dinner conversation tonight when he tells us about the unexplained coffee stain on his car.
   Al was probably going to visit a member of the Columbus medical community. Two months ago, Al swore off doctors. “I’m ninety years old. What do I need a doctor for? They don’t do anything for me. I went to my heart doctor a few weeks ago, and all we did was talk. All they want is some money.”
   For reasons unknown, Al recently decided that he ought to see his doctors, all his doctors. Besides his primary care guy, there is a heart doctor, a cancer doctor and one or two more. He spent last week taking various tests ordered by the various docs. This week, he is going back to the docs to learn the results.

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