Adjusting

I’m getting used to the place. One thing that has made a big difference is to skip breakfast and make my own. What that accomplishes is that I start the day on my own, no rush to get to 7:15 am breakfast which I usually dislike anyway; and now I can pick my time to get my meds on the lower level and go at the exact time that both breakfast shifts are switching.

The magic hour, or minute is 8 a.m. Nobody waiting to get into the Wellness Center. So many euphemisms these days.

I don’t know what they used to call it, maybe the nurses station? The med center. Oh, I know: the dispensary. At least in an Agatha Christie novel that’s what you’d call it.

So you walk slowly around the corner from the elevator into the dispensary waiting room which has about 40 empty seats.

The guy behind me who is always in a hurry, tries to push by me, he just has a cane and like that last horse race, I change lanes to block him off from grabbing the number one ticket.

There’s two empty chairs, no waiting. So the obnoxious Mets fan gets a dispensary seat anyway. And gives me a dirty look. For getting #1. Well you know, his antics work with the really disabled but I can use my Rollator like a chariot. One day, when I’ve completely lost it, I’ll put Ben Hur spinning cutting spindles (what did they call those things that Boyd had on his chariot?) rotating knifes? on my Rollator.

This is an enjoyable time for me. The dispensers are always laughing about something. And they look good to boot. At least two are. There aren’t many girls around this place under 80, so my assessments are questionable.

I say to Grenada, who is a tall good-looking woman from one of the islands, and she’s been pretending to get my name wrong, since day one when I couldn’t remember her name.

I ask her what all the laughing is about and she tells me that she goes up to a resident’s room because he tried to change the channel on the t.v. by pressing the buttons on the cable box. And now everything is dead.

So she explains that to the guy that he has to use the remote to change channels. And then she says to me, laughing, if there wasn’t a problem every day then we’d all be dead.

Are you sure the dead don’t cause problems, I say.

Pretty sure, she says. I’m from Haiti you know, Mr. Buckerman. (She still enjoys saying my name wrong. I don’t blame her.)

You know, she grins, the dead get up at night and cause problems. Sometimes with the remote controls.

I give up. You’ve topped me, Grenada. Someday, tell me the voodoo ritual for fixing the remote control.

OK. It involves a chicken, she laughs.

I will say this about Grenada. I’ve never seen her in a bad mood.

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