Archive for February, 2007

Jews Don’t Bother Roy

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

My pre-warehouse roommates had always maintained their own area in our shared dwelling. They regularly used soap and for the most part knew when to make themselves scarce. But while I vacationed at the warehouse, the administration almost always assigned an unwashed and inconsiderate dimwit to the bed only two-and-a-half feet away from mine. The staff and the other residents considered me an uppity asshole because I chose to draw the privacy curtain hanging from the ceiling around my bed, thus defining a personal cubbyhole.* And I’d demonstrated the habit of rejecting the staff’s minor-league bullshit instead of cowering and blindly accepting anything thrown my way.

While I enjoyed a welcomed but way too brief period without a roommate, a guy in his early fifties strolled into my room. more »

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Josh the Activist

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

A clumsy and unsophisticated nine-year-old controlled Josh’s gnarled body though he biologically approached middle age. I had only seen Josh from afar and, based on his diminutive frame and immature behavior regarded him as a vaguely simple-minded young adult. His spasmodic pigeon-toed gait and palsied gestures advertised his physical condition before he opened his mouth. We met when he moved into my room. Up close, his weathered face revealed his age. I also realized that he smelt funny and wore an elastic band around his head to keep his generic black glasses in place, just like the pussy kid in your grade school. He immediately started jabbering, tried to introduce himself. I guess he got sick of my repeatedly begging his pardon, so he finally used a twisted finger to point to the nametag on a pair of his briefs. more »

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In God They Trust

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Immediately after I entered the hospital, my doctors spewed their quarter-assed diagnosis at my parents who passed it along to my grandmother. She (like most people) regarded the conclusions drawn by white male doctors beyond reproach. News of their—and in fact everyone’s—irresponsible speculation prompted her to write a letter to me, her ill-bred wicked grandson. In it she expressed her hope that enduring this stroke fiasco would somehow “save” me. The correspondence caught me off guard because though she counted herself as a devout Catholic, she had never impressed me as a woman inclined to use what amounted to a popular catchphrase.

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After I’d emerged from the coma, I remember lying on some sort of stationary gurney in the ICU of an urban hospital. more »

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Safety First

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

The security people who worked at the warehouse established themselves as two-bit blundering oafs whose previous employers never entrusted them with any genuine responsibility—imagine a small handful of lobotomized Mr. T’s who formerly blew leaves. They wallowed in impotent authority by bullying and browbeating clearly innocuous residents, visitors, and medivan drivers.

I don’t mean the residents Mr. Gold had stationed behind a table in the lobby. The handpicked batshit fossil on duty would motion to a guestbook while politely but sternly ordering residents and visitors to sign in or out. Mr. Gold and an array of visiting psychiatrists had stressed the importance of this “job” to appointed residents and reminded them that people at their age needed to keep busy. more »

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