This really old guy, like 124 years old old guy was propped in his wheelchair in a corner of the tv room. Upon seeing me pushing my grandmother down the hall, his face lit up. His hands sprang faster than you would think possible up in the air and with one old callous finger, he started beckoning me to him. After looking around for a way out, I sighed, lowered my head in shame at the semi decent person I’ve become, and walked toward him. He was whispering something under his breath urgently. I cocked my head and put my hands up in a “can’t understand you, sorry old man” kind of a way. He shook his head in frustration and started over from the beginning in a still inaudible level. He moved his finger in the clear “come closer, clooooooooser” fashion that one associates with wicked witches.
I finally bent down closer, hoping that maybe he would be telling me where I could find buried treasure or at least the loads of alcohol that he smuggled and stashed during the prohibition era.
When I got close enough, he grabbed my face with his outstretched hands and kissed me really hard. It was gross and I tried to back away, but he had the strength and persistence of a frat boy.
I finally pried myself free, only to look up and see a gang of nurses laughing their asses off. Old guy:1 Me:0. Never again old man, I’m on to you…
I’ve been tricked three times since I’ve been at the home. Last night was my first night here and after my grandma went to sleep I heard a piercing scream across the hall. I instinctively jumped up and ran out, not cause I’m a good person but cause it sounded like someone was being stabbed in their bed and I wanted to see how far away the culprit was to estimate the time I had to grab my grandmother and run.
However, as I cautiously entered the hallway I heard the same voice scream help. I looked up and down the hallway and there wasn’t a nurse in sight. Now I felt guilty and walked over to the open door and the old woman screamed help again. She saw me in the doorway and beckoned me to her bed. I walked over and leaned down. She screamed help in my face. I told her (loudly cause they’re all old) that I would run and get help. I bolted down the hall with a spring in my step, not only for the speed in which this woman seemed to need help, but also with the newfound sense of heroism that I felt. I was about to save this old ladies life. I was to become the champion of the elderly, protector of the bedridden. I walked up to the nurses station and over to the nurse reading us weekly.
Excuse me, I said, but the woman across the hall from my grandmother needs help. I spoke with equal amounts of concern and a hint of superiority, given that I was clearly more aware of this womans charges more than she. She bolted out of her seat and said which one? with an appropriate sound of concern and embarrassment, clearly at the idea that I now knew her for the fraud/slacker that she was. Room 207 I said, she really needs help. A look of annoyance washed over the womans face as she grabbed her magazine and slammed her huge ass back in the seat. That’s Dolores, she screams like that every night. She doesn’t need anything.
I mumbled something like oh, yeah, thanks then under my breath as I walked away, head held in shame vowing never to be duped by an old woman again.
For those who don’t personally know me very well, the backstory for this post is simple: my grandma is sick. Early onset alzheimers and severe dementia. It’s horrible, but not uncommon. I’m sure almost everyone has seen a loved one slowly march to their death or worse.
What makes my tale particularly gruesome however is that my grandmother and grandfather live in Pennsylvania. So I’m visiting them now and instead of the one or two hours of awkward silence that usually comes with visiting a loved one, I am basically living in an assisted living home myself. I’m there 14 hours a day and today was my first.
Everyone who’s ever been to a “home” and or seen a horror movie knows how scary and terrifying they are. In fact, the biggest mental note that has come from today is reinforcing my desire to smoke. I know they’ll take years off your life, but if today has been a glimpse of those last years, I say thanks but no thanks surgeon general. Fuck you and your sanctimonious lies about how everyone should want to live forever.
My grandma is awesome and has always been awesome. The kind of grandma that one would see in 1940s musicals. Sweet, caring, with just enough sass to make you actually want to spend time watching her bake apple pies. Her and my grandfather (still alive and kicking at age 97, and in the same facility that my grandma currently resides) used to come out from Pennsylvania and live with us for one month out of the year. We would also take two weeks in summer to live with them.
I’m my grandmas favorite. And I’m not terribly likable, so it’s a rare feeling for me to be “the favorite” of anyone. But for reasons unknown, my grandma likes me best. One of the few benefits of her current condition is that she tells everyone that, including my cousins and aunts and uncles, which I pretend to abhor but secretly relish in.
The home is scary and my grandma is now scary, which is sad cause I’m 27 years old and should be adult enough to not be skeeved out. However, I’m not, so this sucks. The only way I seem to be able to deal with this is to pretend everything is super scary and at the same time uproariously funny.
The next three days of my tumblr blogs will all be related to both funny and horrific things that happen to me. It’s my way of coping, so please don’t judge all the mean things I’m about to say and post.