I assure you that I think everyone should cut slack for people plagued by involuntary physical, mental, or emotional handicaps. But self-pitying dysfunctional assholes that choose not to help themselves aren’t worthy of my or anyone else’s respect regardless of whether or not they’re handicapped. During my involuntary stint at the warehouse I noticed that many residents did not suffer from an overwhelming condition that required round-the-clock medical attention.
I count a shell-shocked wuss of a drunk named Tim as one of my many roommates. I never did figure out exactly how he ended up there. I guessed some assclown doctor had diagnosed his alcoholism and the accompanying alcohol-drenched emotional instability as a disease. Tim’s “medical condition” officially qualified him for free room and board with complimentary assembly-line health care. I remember asking him about his circumstance. I don’t remember the reply, just that it was whiny bullshit.
Whining suited Tim. Like most male residents he often brayed of his exploits as a younger man. These stories usually centered around dimwitted machismo. Though he was only in his early fifties, he had allowed the unsophisticated staff to brainwash him into percieving himself as a pitiable coot.
Tim had taken his weekly afternoon bus ride to visit his ailing mother and stumbled into our room drunk at dinnertime. A handful of residents routinely got drunk and/or high—sometimes while on the premises and with CNAs. The administrator and the staff ignored such behavior unless the police got involved, which was fairly often. The administrator saw the drunken residents as wobbly, slurring dollar signs that would eventually sober up. The CNAs and nurses saw piles of redundant paperwork to be avoided at all cost.
After we’d eaten, a full-figured CNA lumbered into our room to collect two cafeteria trays crammed with dirty dishes. (Regular use of soap and an IQ above 75 made her stand out among her peers.) Tim sat on his bed and busted out crying. She asked him what was wrong. Between choking sobs he reported that he saw nothing but suffering in this place and in his mother’s rest home. He tearfully admitted that he was an ungrateful cuss and had been a lousy son anyway. The hefty CNA bent down, hugged his neck and rocked him while theatrically whispering, “There there, baby.”
He blubbered for about two minutes, then passed out. The CNA waddled into my section of the room—I kept the curtain next to my bed drawn to avoid my roommates; unfortunately it didn’t block the sound of nocturnal masturbation, etc. She quietly advised me to be gentle with Tim because he was having a rough time being so sad and thinking that he was a worthless piece of shit and all. Then she gazed into the distance and wistfully reminded herself: “I guess love is where you find it.” She returned her gaze to me: “Tim really needs some love right now.”
If you ask me, Tim needed to be bitch-slapped.