Beck’s Diary 1

July 19, 2019

Breakfast oatmeal was not thoroughly cooked. I was afraid I’d get sick if I ate raw oatmeal. Just about everybody returned theirs.

Learned that another cook had been fired, and that someone new had taken over the oatmeal.

Got two hard-boiled eggs and dry white toast to go.

Lunch was corned beef on rye. One slice of corned beef, half grizzle. I couldn’t chew half of it.

It finally struck me why the blue shirts go around to each room to pull you up to the dining room. The Castle must get reimbursed for each meal they serve. So you want as many people to attend and for the food to be as cheap as possible.

That had me puzzled for a long time, since they sent blue coats all over the building to remind residents to show up for the next meal.

The fact that they’re making a profit when I show up, gives me another reason not to show up for meals.

Found out that they used to let some people use their stoves after passing a battery of neurological tests, but no longer do. Makes sense. It makes more sense to have those who can leave for a day or have nearby relatives to cook on the outside and have small dinner parties in their rooms.

What else…? Oh, Vera the overheated waitress left to go to GA for a while. Not sure how long but at least dinner should be drama-free for a change.


I have been getting my medication in packs good for 30 days. You are supposed to tell the dispensers to order the refill when you have five days left of whatever.

Five days ago I walked into the “wellness” room and told Jenny the nurse that I had five days of valium left, and she should do a refill.

Valium is considered a narcotic (maybe it is) but I’ve been using it for anxiety for about 30-something years. I tried Xanax once, but it gave me that feeling of being wrapped in cotton and I didn’t care for it. Valium is also given for back spasms and I was told by two spine specialists at Sinai that if it was helping, not to mess with it.

I went down to the wellness center. Sat down across from Jenny. She had no idea why I was there. So I reminded her she was going to order the Valium refill.

She didn’t say, “sorry, I forgot.” Or anything along those lines. Nobody in the Wellness Center apologizes for anything, even when they gave my friend Spike somebody else meds for two days.

“Never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness.” John Wayne (was it The Searchers?) and later Robert Duvall (The Great Santini).

Now it has made it’s way to the Wellness Room. So she picks up the phone and calls the request in to the pharmacy the Castle uses. She also tells me to call my Doctor at Mt. Sinai and request a new script. (He’s on vacation.) I guess someone is covering for him but I decide to call the Castle Pharmacy and tell them to get in touch with Dr. P of the Castle.

So we’ll see what happens. I’ll split the two I have in half and hope for the best.


The days meander into each other. Blue shirts wander into your room to ask if you are going to lunch, after you’ve come down from lunch, and having your name scratched off a list on a pad, and after being reminded to come up for lunch.


I should feel some sympathy for the guy in charge of the dining room. He’s one of these tall white guys that should never have shaved his head bald. Too many veins popping. And always in a rush. Always under pressure. Always figuring out some new line of b.s. to spin. And he can’t even fool people with dementia. Nobody believes a word that comes out of his mouth.

Betty, who I haven’t mentioned yet is about 90 years old, missing enough teeth so that it’s hard to understand her, and always enjoys playing tricks with her friends. I am fortunate to be one of them.

She wheel herself up behind me, tap me with her cane or something, and then spin around before I can catch her. But you hear her giggle and you say you’re going to push her wheelchair into the elevator and press all the buttons or something stupid like that and you laugh about what’s on the blackboard menu.

Hamburger = the horse that came in last in the derby.

Taco = stick to Taco Bell. Pure heart ache.

Swedish Meatballs = don’t go anywhere near them. An excuse to grind the cheapest cut of meat and cover it some tasteless gray sauce.

Potatoes au Gratin = you don’t want to know.

But cueball (that’s who he reminds me of) has to keep this whole scam running so a profit is made, or he’s out of a job.

Somebody recommended talking to Cueball about the terrible oatmeal. I said, he doesn’t do anything. He’s the middleman.

And this guy that walks around the halls mumbling to himself, who I’ve never heard a comprehensible sentence from, says: He’s not even a middleman. He’s a lackey.