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Dramatis personæ: 1 of 3

Posted 09-15-2014 at 05:37 PM by Len Myers
Updated 11-30-2014 at 02:36 PM by Len Myers

  • (The) Administrator. A pre-haggared man trying to make a living by treating his charges like cost centers and by treating his bureaucrats like gods. Part of an insiduous Orthodox plot to take over the rehab business.

    So far, I don't like this guy. It appears that he's trying to do a good job, but he doesn't have to satisfy the residents, just the bureaucrats. So he doesn't. It's not as if he were dragged to The Abattoir kicking and screaming. So I have less sympathy for him. On the plus side, he did lend me his Yom Kippur prayerbook. I read it for hours, too.

    What's terrible is that this may be a good thing, on average. You wouldn't believe the stories I've heard about other places. Here the only problems have to do with getting medicine, food, heat, sleep, and out.

  • (The) Apprentices, 1 & 2:The Orthodox, or perhaps Modern Orthodox are taking over the Rehab Home business. They accomplish this, in part, with a ruthless training regimen. Apprentice 1 was here for several months, learning the trade. And now Apprentice 2 is learning more than he really wants to.

  • Betazoid:A four-year resident, experiencing perhaps the slowest tummy cancer progression of memory. If scuttlebut is to be believed, he, in fact, backed out of chemo, when it could have worked, checked out after two years, and returned when it was too late. Mostly confined to a wheelchair, he did walk a bit until quite near the end. I was convinced that he was muslim, but perhaps that was mistaken. His family tended to ignore him, and had since he was a child. Television and radio were his only real friends. Early I'd see him in the 3rd floor, where a loud television would dominate the room. His corner was had a radio set to his own station. I'd have liked to think well of him, but he dissed me well before we roomed, no doubt playing up to another resident, The Delightful Miss M. Once in the same room, he tolerated me, but always left the television on. He found a reason to not tolerate me, and after that point ignored me totally.

    He was, in fact, TSS's first roommate, Later, Betazoid enforced a switch with TSS, in order to save the sanity of his former roommates. I don't know how that worked. Usually switches are voluntary.

  • (The) Big Guy: A very-long term resident of The Abattoir, black, rotund, unable to get around, very adept at verbal fencing and utterly nasty. I once told him, "I don't like you." and he responded "I don't like myself very much, either." Verbally pushed me around until we came to blows, at which point that pretty much stopped. Sometime after that, he was put on oxygen, and he doesn't get out much.

  • The Bookkeeper: Quiet occupant of the business office, hears a lot, doesn't say much. Middle-aged, white, gray hair, tallis, Orthodox. You know the drill.

  • Bunkie:My first long-term roommate. What happened in our room stayed in our room. Long-term junkie, and dealt drugs (though not at The Abattoir, to my knowledge), he had considerable moneys on deposit with his family and friends. Publicly he didn't have a problem with anyone, in private, had few good words about anyone. His kidneys shut down, and he really, really did not like dialysis, to the point that he'd find ways to postpone / skip treatments. That caught up to him. His last few hours here were not pretty.

    His family had no need for his stuff. I scarfed up two bowls, his radio, and his hair clipper. Others got much more.

  • C.: Chess Champion of one of New Jersey's very best correctional facilities. As good as me at chess, perhaps better. We have different strengths. Except for breaking and entering, or ill-timededly brandishing a gun, he seems to be an affable guy. Not sure, but I'm fairly certain that he's on psychoactive drugs for a bi-polar condition. This would explain why he's on the lunatic floor. Working on some kind of tract, which will explain to youthful black folk how to leave behind their shackles. He seems to have made a lot of progress, though he won't actually tell me about what he's doing, preferring to talk around that endlessly. His trademark expression is "concept." used to describe something that isn't corporal. (e.g. "the internet concept.")

    If he ever asked, I'd suggest that his tracts would be more successful if he gave up on CAPITALIZED WORDS in the middle of sentences. I haven't read the tracts, but I have noticed those.

    He's worried that Microsoft is spying on him through the computer. I suspect he's a bit less important to them than he thinks.

    Taught me the apple juice trick for making cider. The trick is that you don't throw it out and do wait. usually.

    He's about ready to depart The Abattoir and re-enter normal life. Unfortunately, his criminal past is precluding this possibility for the moment. But at least he can still work on his dreams. At most he has about four years to go before the "time-since-offense-was-committed" issue goes away.

  • CanUSee: Big-ish, medium height, bald, chain-smoking, very religious, worked for Kirby, the vacuum cleaner people, as a motivator. Inoffensive. Was studying for US Citizenship. Left The Abattoir because he was having trouble sleeping. Had I paid attention, and, like, asked, I'd have noted that he was an early roommate of The Whiner, which was why he was having trouble sleeping.

    He'll be a useful addition to the US. Welcome him.

  • Caroline:Rather often my 2nd-shift CNA. She has a daughter who has a chess set, doesn't know how to play. I offered to give her daughter a lesson for a Chinese meal. I'm beginning to think that price too rich for her blood.

  • Cleopatra: apparently The World's Sweetest Cat, but in reality, she just wants to be warm.

  • Contrary:One of the most effective and pleasant CNAs here. She was my CNA until I moved to my current digs. Tall, black, big, massive honkers, always a sunny disposition and a smile on her face, she has very short hair and normally wears one of her wigs. So normally, that I was surprised to see her very short hair.

  • (The) Confused Man: [Lunatic] Wanders around rather a lot, looking for his room, or his clothes, or something. Black, grey hair, normally wears a Mets jacket inside out. Sometimes I point him at TSS's quarters just to be cruel. But to whom?!

  • Dad: Step-father. An American spy in post-war Germany, he became a not-very-successful wine representative. At least he had fun. Won a limited national bridge event. Has quite the repertoire of tales, most amusing. Do not be driving the car in front of his. You won't like it.

  • Danica:One of the newer rotating CNAs. Generally in for 3rd shift, I've seen her do a 3rd-1st combo. Medium height, raven hair, small tattoo on the back of her neck. Cute enough to chat up, when she's smiling.

  • Deb: Confined to a wheelchair, suffers from cancer, daily smoker. Ugly, though the last bit certainly isn't her fault.

  • DeeDee: A competent CNA, tall, black, with very short hair, accented in gold tone. Many thought her to be butch or dyke, but by self-account was married. She left suddenly, and her competence will be missed, by some.

  • (The) Delightful Miss M: Superficially friendly, unless and until she deemed herself dissed. One could "diss" her simply by failing to acknowledge her. When this happened, she would turn on the vitriol. She made fun of my missing foot, of all things, and expressed concern that I might not like black folk. I certainly did not like her, a sentiment that eventually spread to others, and enjoyed her departure. Of course she came back to visit.

  • Denise: One of the sad cases. Lives on the Lunatic floor. Black, ugly, in a wheelchair. Has a bit of difficulty with her bowel functions. Smokes. Not averse to the occasional theft, as Lysistrata discovered to her cost. Essentially bereft of friends, probably for this reason.

  • Dervish: [Lunatic] Lives on the other floor, endlessly pushes his way around the first. Indian heritage, missing his right foot, thinks he's getting out, so convincingly that I got sucked into his narrative. Talking with him, one might go for three sentences before realizing that he's a nutcase. Recently started dialysis. On the plus side, he's doing prosthesis work.
    Likes to play chess. Utterly incompetent at it, perhaps worse than Felix, has no clue that this is so.

  • (The) Dietrix: A miserable, short person, her specialties are:following the last-issued government dietary guidelines to a tee; demanding signed release forms for non-existent diet “liberalizations”; and getting my listed food preferences wrong, time after time.

  • Mrs. Dion: Certainly the least effective CNA in the building. I'm not totally convinced she even knows how to get pregnant, yet she does. Scuttlebutt is that she hopes to be a nurse. I don't see that happening any time soon.

  • Director of Rehab: Hispanic, very short haircut, sometimes to the skull. Alternates between instructive and pedantic. He's gotten used to dealing with people who can't tie their shoes, so it takes him a bit of effort to treat his charges as human beings. But I'll grant that he tries.

  • (The) Directrix of Nursing:A tall, medium-toned Indian who tends to show off, somewhat, her medium-long hair and nice legs. The hosiery is opaque, though the dresses are... short. If I'm ever offended by this, well, I won't be. She has an unfortunate perpetual frown on her face, as if she's been tremendously disappointed by something. But then, she works here, and has since about a month after I got here.

    She's come to me for facts, and I've had the very, very occasional chat with her. Perhaps “chat” is an exaggeration.

  • Dr. Bat: Our once-a-week psychologist. I've managed to hold her off ever since our first meeting, which I started by reciting the date; the location; and the President's name.

  • Doctor Dan: Not really a doctor, but a physician's assistant, who basically does all the physician stuff for the "dancing doctor" in this room. He's a pleasant guy, though I've noted an upswing in early-morning rude awakenings the day after he drops by.

  • Dr. Moss: The genial head of wound care at Trinitas. Elderly, Jewish, rotund. Knows bridge, and some other doctors who play it.
  • Dr. Nurse: An elderly, genial legend in his own mind. When he is in charge of the floor, he only enforces rules that work for him, as he has no fear of being fired. Maybe he is a doctor in his home country. I dunno. We all like it when we can stay out in the courtyard late. (not in winter, of course.)

  • Dr. Podiaphile: Every two or three months Dr. Podiaphile goes through The Abattoir looking for toenails to clip and business to drum up. On one occasion he was responsible for me going on a follow-up with my surgeon, though I never found out the reason why, which led to some embarrassment all around. Hey, I got a free trip out, and one can't argue with that. On another occasion, he didn't do such a good job cutting my toenails and got a piece of my 2nd toe, which took a few days to heal.

  • Dr. Singh: Our part-time psychiatrist. He's finally caught on to the fact that I address him by name.

  • Elsa: The receptionist for RWJ wound care. Short, scowls. Doesn't look like she's having a good time.

  • ElseIf: One of the late middle-aged CNAs, feigns lack of understanding very convincingly.

  • Emerge:One of the receptionists at The Abattoir, young, black, cheerful, thin, in college, and double-gosh-darned cute! Kawaii!! Tends to keep her hair natural. My bridge partner makes a point of wheeling me back inside The Abattoir, because of the real chance that he'll get to see her. I don't blame him.

  • Eye Doctrix: She's an eye doctor for the Medicare / Medicaid set. Prefers her instruments to talking.

  • Felix: [Lunatic] Somehow has a very modest income source and is also on some kind of aid. Also very much dislikes The Abattoir's signature deathcamp cuisine. And is, to my best knowledge, always hungry. Diabetic, with one leg, he plots ways to get out of here, and to his credit, has, after some years, determined to become adept with his prosthesis. He's a nicotine addict, and was on the way to overcoming this with "the patch", when, he started smoking again while patching. Now his patch privileges have been taken away.

    He very often watches T and me play chess, and he knows the rules, but can't play more than one move ahead to save his life. This annoys me because he actually beat me once. The next game, though, I won in two moves. He is also incapable of winning the K+Q vs. K endgame. I tried teaching him, believe it.

    He recently "escaped" from the lunatic floor and being the roommate of an Alzheimer's victim. He did not like that guy.

  • Golfer: A relatively new addition to our neck of The Abattoir, is blind, or all-but so. I've seen his face track my location. Likes his television loud, at night. Sleeps with a sheet wrapped around his body. Cusses like a sailor, and picks verbal fights with the staff. Laments what has happened to "our women." Just got a resident girlfriend. Aww.

  • Gyro:Head of Occupational Therapy, pleasant, willing to keep up an endless patter of "good job!" and/or "well done!" to patients who can barely point out a stick-figure house on a sheet of paper.

  • Garbage Guy: A mountain of a Black Man. Lysistrata's paramour. Spending more time in The Abattoir now than when he was a resident, or so it seems. Frequently habitats the courtyard, because he and Lysistrata smoke.

  • Good Witch:Onassis' Roommate. Has a powered wheelchair. I've never seen her take a step, probably, though she's had some therapy. Gets her hair done, so it's curly, instead of standard Afro. She smokes and leads the very elite "spades" group, which I was permitted to play in, once.

    She is of the "Television Always On" crowd. It's a nuisance to listen to as I use the bathroom. And yet, her enjoyment of Audio/video is sometimes interrupted by TSS.

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  1. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar

    Dramatis personæ: 2 of 3

    • Grandmaw: A black octogenarian walking with a cane, who solves find-a-word puzzles, and who gets confused about exactly where in the building she came from, you'd want her to be your grandmother, unless you crossed her. Then she'd issue death threats as one would not believe. For several weeks she's been threatening, in vain, to get transferred out, because of Mrs. Bent. Mr. Tucker spends many an afternoon chatting with Grandmaw, and some other wimmenz.

      Grandmaw's signature move is cleaning spots from the hallway floor near her doorway. And threatening to leave.

    • (The) Head of Housekeeping: A short-ish late-middle-aged redhead who likes to supervise. Her signature move is to get on the intercom and say "[person x] please come to my office." When she says “please.” Presumably all her charges know her voice. She enjoys tormenting residents for the same reason that bullies like tormenting younger children. At least that's my take. Her subordinates do... not... like... her. They don't have to.

    • John's Brother:One of my earlier roommates, the first to require massive doses of sound, pretty much at all times. Probably due to a stroke his speech is incomprehensible even now, which is hard not to find comic. When he got here, he was totally destitute, and on the patch -- so of course he borrowed cigarettes. Patch + cigarettes = Bad Bad Bad!!

    • Lange: One of the competent 2nd-shift CNAs. Usually helpful, except she often avoids me during dinner service. But that's because dinner service is, frankly, terrible.

    • Liza:A long-legged quiet nubian nurse with a gentle smile, she was my first-shift nurse for many months, and she seems competent to me. Tall is good.

    • Lysistrata: Currently the Prima Cutie Resident of The Abattoir. Originally was not very nice because she was unsuccessfully dealing with Mrs. Fatwah as her roommate. She's recovered a bit, but still has down periods. Her body appears to be failing her, Loner suggests MS, based on a pain patch. Black, nearly perfect caramel skin, save for a largish tattoo on one of her feet. She's lost two children, to unspecified causes, and for several weeks wore what appeared to be a surgical cap on the top of her head. It turned out to be a kit for straightening her hair.

      She's also been a nurse, neo-natal if memory serves. She saw a lot of babies born addicted to drugs, many of whom died. Her trademark move is pedaling forward in her wheelchair using only her two feet.

      Pro Tip when dealing with Lysistrata: If you're making out with her, don't moan someone else's name.

    • (The) Manager of Fun:, also My Belle: Easily the least competent staffer of The Abattoir, excluding some CNAs. When she was in charge of Bingo, she'd screw up game independece, and S. agreed with this assessment. Early on, she insisted that I attend a "barbecue" in the courtyard. After being trapped for a couple hours, having a miserable time, I emerged with a sunburn. When she organized a Papa John's pizza party, at the last minute, and having collected the funds, went for a cheaper, local establishment. I should have realized immediately that something was up when breakfast sausage links were on a "Meat lover's" pizza. When I complained, she said, "You ate it."

      The Abattoir attempted to have her be the library liason. I told senior staff that she couldn't plan her way out of a wet paper bag, uttering thoughts that I'd never actually spoken before.

    • Mrs. Bent: The Resident to be Named Later, whom The Mistress of Money rapidly obtained in order to fill the final female bed, thus preventing the Return of Mrs. Fatwah. Given that Mrs. Bent plays with her excrement, and also leaves it out in her room -- not to mention that she has been known to deliver it to other residents, the staff must have been well and truly fed up with Mrs. Fatwah. Certainly her roommate, Grandmaw, is fed up with her.

      Tall, black, very short hair, which is how I noticed that... thing... on the top of her skull. An artifact of recent brain surgery. I've seen her in occupational therapy. She can be told to do one thing, and will do it, if told over and over. Doing two or three things is quite beyond her.

    • JarJar:My first-shift nurse, also my primary wound nurse, she also double-dips at another institution working up to two days of back-to-back double shifts.

      Hailing from Sierra Leone (can you say Ebola?) she cares for her daughter, her son, and a couple of related children who are still in her home country. Very motherly, but do... not... get... her... riled... up! I don't, but TSS and Mr. Van Buren certainly do.

    • Jean: Until Lysistrata showed up, easily the cutest female resident in The Abattoir. Confined to a wheelchair, one can tell that she once stood tall, proud, and dignified. She seems to be married, or at least with family, whom she loves. She's also gained a bit of weight over the past year, but who has not? The other day, though, I heard her cussing up a storm as she pushed past me, which in my limited experience was uncharacteristic.

    • Magoo, also Magnepan: Generally, my 2nd-shift nurse, good hearted, a party-girl, and a complete ditz. Nubian, generally with long, straightened hair, and considerable assets (which, to her credit, she keeps hidden.) She loves FIFA soccer. Was jumping up and down and screaming for most of the recent World Cup.

    • The Latina:This staffer hosts the near-daily "Spanish Club", serving grilled cheese sandwiches accompanied by enormously loud Spanish music. I'm not permitted grilled cheese, unless I put up with the music. Probably for the best. I do not think well of The Latina.

    • May 32nd: One of my first nurses and did my wound care before being "promoted" to the position of lunatic floor duty nurse. Seemed highly competent, apparently The Abattoir agrees.

    • Mike: This is his real name, but the staff knows him by another. He's on dialysis, confined to a wheelchair, and most emphatically does... not... want... to... die... here! He's getting therapy and while his temper is not totally in check, I hope he achieves his dreams.

    • Mrs. Arnez: worked in the outsourced physical therapy unit. Latina, black hair, tall, kept her looks well hidden under monochrome work clothes. One day she returned, and not in uniform.

    • Mrs. Fatwah: A non-lamented departure, she tormented roommates and staff alike, while stealing fourth-rate Abattoir cutlery to be sent to her undisclosed home country. Most resident families bring food to their stricken members; she gives Abattoir food to her family. Seems to sue everyone in sight. Don't know if that includes her lawyers. Endlessly abusive to her roommates, looking for something... anything... to torment them with, she played endless noise at another resident recovering from brain surgery, just to keep her from getting a good night's sleep. I can relate to that. Demanded special treatment from the Abattoir kitchen, a practice that evidently stopped when or just before I decided to get on the bandwagon.

    • Mr. Libre: [Lunatic!] He's been in America for about forty years, and does not speak English. Came to the Abattoir recently, and likes very much to talk with the Spanish community. When he Saw T and me playing chess, he proudly proclaimed Capablanca's name.

      He's here for rehab, but since he needs oxygen to walk, I suspect that progress will be slow.

      Since he's just moved in next door, I note that he's of the "optional shirt" crowd. At least he's not doing the "Tackle out" thing. But I've now heard rumors.

    • Levite: Our new admission, yells for help when she's not singing.

    • Lilac: Probably the longest-term nurse here. When I was moving to be paired up with Mr. Loud, she engineered a quick change that got me in the room with Betazoid. She sees ghosts, both here and home. I haven't gotten details, but I am credulous.

    • Lovegood: A sweet young Nubian thing, good-looking if you go for that. Not exactly my type, but a competent and cheerful fill-in nurse. Perhaps I should re-think what exactly "my type" is...

    • May 32nd: One of my first nurses and did my wound care before being "promoted" to the position of lunatic floor duty nurse. Seemed highly competent, apparently The Abattoir agrees.

    • Miss Dementia:Roomed next door for several weeks. Unable to use a bathroom without, err, messing things up. Elderly, never married, one can see that she wasn't a bad looker in her day. For the past few weeks, she's been the roommate of Soloway. I hear that changed today.

    • Mrs. Wax:Apparently Portuguise, two daughters alternated dropping by, one with fairly good late-middle-aged looks, a smile, tall, curly black hair, high cheekbones, the other, not so much. She's departed. One of the staff observed, "We wanted one of her daughters to go with her to see the doctor. The daughter wouldn't do that unless we paid her." Hah!

    • Mr. Loud (Señor Ciego) :A Spanish-only speaker, blind, quite religious, (he prays on his knees, by the bed, daily.) who probably wonders why Gawd has done this to him. Plays the television when it suits him, almost doesn't know about the nurse-call button. His favorite method for attracting staff attention is to take a filled can and pound it against his bathroom door. As with virtually everyone here, he has a roommate, who bears the brunt of this, along with lots of the rest of us.
    Posted 11-30-2014 at 02:42 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 12-01-2014 at 11:31 PM by Len Myers
  2. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar

    Dramatis personæ: 3 of 3

    • Mr. Marx: A wanderer, Alzheimer's patient, and always looking for something to filch. He was Felix's roommate until recently. His wife visits every week or every other week, and tries to treat him as if he still has his mind. Sad.

    • Mr. Templar: Black, one-footed resident of the nutcase floor, he's virtually always on the ground floor, waiting for his chance to escape! He manages to get out of the penultimate doorway about once per day. Alas, he's been fitted with a device (Wander Guard) that sets off an alarm when he does this. I'm rooting for him. “Go, Mr. Templar, Go!!”

    • Mr. Tucker: [Lunatic] T.'s roommate. His specialty is the daily disaster, as recounted by the local news. A teenager was shot, or someone jumped off a bridge, & etc. He takes disaster very hard, and mourned Saijo for several days. Has a substantial urge to punch people and door frames, but, to my best knowledge, has not yet done so. Carries around pictures of his parents, which no one can fault. Accepted some ear plugs for me. Later, I discovered they were for T. Has an enormous Lego supply, and a couple Hess truck models, of which he is quite fond. The Head of Housekeeping declared them to be a fire hazard.

      Lately, he's been unsteady on his feet, feeling dizzy. This has led to at least three four recent falls. The Abattoir, like most medical and quasi-medical institutions, does not like falls.

    • Mr. Van Buren: [Lunatic] His specialty is talking endlessly about the conspiracy theory du jour. He doesn't like Jews, nevermind that he lives here. He's blind in one eye and has substantial cataract build-up in the other, so his sight isn't what it could be. A rabid listener to red-eye radio, he catches up with pretty much every weird fact, whether correct or otherwise, and delights in sharing. Just try to stop him! He is constantly in the staff's face, and, if he feels provoked, is not above politically incorrect name calling. He feels provoked a lot.

      He's endlessly writing, and sometimes calculating. The distance of a light-year is one of his favorite calculations. If only his calculator worked, he'd have figured it out by now. Likewise the number of hours in a century.

    • (The) Mistress of Money: The sharpest knife in The Abattoir drawer. Gets her charges Medicaid, and therefore gets funding for The Abattoir.

      A tall-ish dark Indian, (and it works!), former US Marshal, bright and chipper. She has quite the work ethic, keeps tabs on the Personal Needs Accounts, when not doing any of a dozen other things. Her signature outfit is black with pinstripes. Sometimes her reasonable, and quite distracting decolletage is a bit more exposed than at other times, but she has yet to show any leg. Bummer! I can hear her walking from quite a distance. (The residents don't generally walk; the nurses don't generally wear heels...)

      While almost always smiling, she is not averse to threatening residents -- trust me, they deserve it, usually, (unless it's the staff she should be threatening) -- a habit the state bureaucrats do not like one bit. I had enormous respect for her until some of her financial advice went south. It may be that there was nothing to be done in any case, but part of me thinks that I'll be going bankrupt because what she (and others) seems to have thought -- you can't sue a nursing-home resident -- seems not to have been the case. My respect is somewhat diminished, but she has accomplished rather a lot, and I can't take that away from her.

    • Mom: What can I say that won't get me disowned? Mom rebelled against her overly strict mother, and it took her decades to mellow into a reasonable human being -- except when she's irked. Don't irk her, she'll go ballistic, as dozens have learned to their cost. Until about four years ago, sold for Pru. For about one year, her work phone was Pru's advertised number in Chicago. That was a fun, very busy year for her.

    • Olive: Generally, the second-shift duty nurse. Pleasant, and willing to do almost anything that's accomplished quickly and easily. Some call her lazy, but I haven't seen that, call it economy of effort. Yes, that's the ticket..

    • Onassis:TSS's aunt. She's got something, I'm not sure what. Uncontrolled diabetes is part of it. She wheels around, very slowly, and tends to come to a stop where one can't get around her, or otherwise in someone else's room. I've heard that she once stole a pack of cigs. She doesn't smoke. Alternates between saying "I love you." and "Go to Hell, you stupid bitch!" She's not capable of staying still in bed -- which runs in the family, I assure you -- and her roommate is constantly coaching her to stay in bed and leave her roommate's stuff alone.

      Thinner than would seem healthy, she is also missing more than a few teeth.

    • One-eye: Another foreign resident of The Abattoir. Short, white hair, no evident left pupil. She's always out looking, checking out medical equipment to fondle and/or steal. No Hable!

    • Pacifica: When my wallet was stolen, she was the person who noticed it among Red-hat's belongings. While she's affable now, at the time, I suspected her of planting it in Red-hat's stuff.

    • Partner:A tall, white-haired Canadian living in America. He's threatened to take US citizenship, and, in fact, has applied for Social Security. He is an avid bridge player, genial, yet fearsome, sometimes threatens to write a book titled: Six Clubs. I'd like to read it. A former (Canadian) lawyer, and chartered accountant, he was induced to come to America, to run a small, profitable firm for his relatives.

      He did the job too well, and so they fired him when they couldn't quite figure out how he could do any better for them.

    • Pfingle:Short, black, first-shift duty nurse until her pregnancy caught up to her. Very bossy. The last thing she said to me -- weeks before her last day -- was that she wanted to talk to me about [a particular incident]. I told her to take it up with The Directrix of Nursing. After that, she ignored the hell out of me. Not that she was particularly helpful to me before.

    • Philadelphia Bill: Keeper of the bridge system notes that Partner and I have modified.

    • (The) Pole:A not-English speaker, he's on his feet, and, when not confined by winter snow, does light pruning of the garden. Last year, his chess game alternated between astoundingly good and remarkably lame. Then the astoundingly good bit went away. I assume he doesn't have any particular family left in Poland. His mother died a month or two ago. He's mechanically inclined, and constructed a cardboard box suitable for housing the chess set. We use it.

    • Princess: Drops by from time to time to get cooking feedback, and is a designated gofer for the Head of Housekeeping. For someone who cooks, she has some remarkable holes in her culinary knowledge, (Never had an egg roll, for starters) but is helpful.

    • (The) Queen: Tall, blond, impeccable, elegant dresser. If only her face weren't so... stern. She has a cubbyhole of an office, but I don't really know what she does. Just checked, she's the MDS coordinator. I still don't know what that means.
    • Rangy Lil': A competent, and sexy -- in a cougar way -- nurse at RWJ wound care. Medium-tall, with glasses and somewhat unkept raven hair.

    • Red Hat: Wanderer, cat burglar, thief? Came into my room multiple times, at night. Probably... probably got my wallet. In any case, it was found among his sh%t, with all the cards, but none of the money.

    • Rena: A competent nurse at RWJ wound care. A little short with fiery-red hair.

    • S.: An imposing, genial guy with the biggest, baddest electric wheelchair that I know of. I call it the "Death Star." He's in the wheelchair because he was shot multiple times by a botched assassination attempt. I can actually have a conversation with him, and once lived next door, sharing a bathroom. If he's not a gang-banger -- and I believe he is, based on the content and tone of several of his phone conversations, likewise the assassination -- he surely hangs out with them. I'd be charmed to room with him, save for one habit. While here, his television Does... Not... Go... Off. It would drive me nuts, as it did one of his former roommates.

      Played generally good music at ungodly levels at unholy hours of the day and night for months. Oddly, he stopped that.

      When he does not like his roommate-of-the-month, he waits -- not long -- for some alleged infraction to occur and then starts screaming nonstop. Said infractions involve "turning on the overhead lights before noon" and, well, going poop.

    • (The) Sad Woman: A visitor to our foreign land, she's always trying to contact her family even in the face of them not wanting to pick up the phone. That is, if the staff here is, in fact, dialing a real number for her. For some reason she, as with some other residents, thinks that I can help, mostly by listening to the phone ring and ring and ring and ring for her...
    Posted 11-30-2014 at 02:44 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
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    Len Myers's Avatar

    Dramatis personæ: 4 of 3. It's not my fault!

    • Saijo: One of the more inoffensive men I've ever met, and keeper / owner of the chess set. For years he suffered the ravages of colitus, a nasty intestinal dysfunction, and then, when also faced with dialysis, chose to pack it in, a process that took about two weeks. I should look up the timeline.

      An accountant by trade, he loved watching sports, played chess until a few months before the end, and bequeathed T and me his chess set, in front of a reliable witness. T wasn't that person. The rest of his belongings, save some baseball hats, went to his sister.

      His sister's granddaughter died young about a week before he did.

    • Scrooge: Black, thin, tall-ish, quiet. An effective nurse, normally works second shift. He's ordered food via my computer, and once treated me to dessert for that. TSS put a surprise headlock on him, which did not go over well for any of the parties involved.

    • Skynyrd:A long-but-not-indefinite-term resident. Re-learning how to walk. Roomed with Mr. Loud for several months, then with Saijo. His new roommate, as of today, is Libre. He's not enjoying this.

    • (The) Social Loafer: Handles intake and other issues for The Abattoir. Also resolves resident-to-resident issues, when she can be bothered. A pleasant, tall woman, with curly brown hair, a big smile, and perfect, medium boobs (What can I say, I'm emphasizing the stuff that matters to me), plainly Orthodox-ish, judging from her refusal to wear heels. She doesn't do a lot except when cornered, and even then will try to find a way out of performing actual tasks.

      She is good at putting the fear of Gawd into residents. But then, lots of staff do that.

    • Soloway:non compos mentis, and a dialysis patient rather against her will. It's what her husband wants; I can't blame him much. At substantially periodic intervals, she screams for help. "I need help!", "Hello!!", "I haven't had [meal x]", "I haven't had [meals x, y, and/or z]!" "I need my diaper changed." Her roommate is bearing this onslaught quite stoically. Had her roommate not left my bathroom a disgusting mess on several occasions -- yes, not her fault, not totally, anyway -- I'd gift her some of my better earplugs.

    • (The) Super: One of the few highlights of The Abattoir. The Super fixes everything, except what he doesn't. If one reasons with him, he figures something out, and fixes the problem. Except... there are a lot of problems.

    • T.:young-middle-aged former Albanian. He's got a condition that has debilitated his muscles. I think it's continuing to get worse. His hobbies are his computer and chess, which he plays as often as he reasonably can, and then some. His family gets him out of here rather a lot, almost too much, and his sister brings tasty food once or twice a week. Until The Administrator precluded him, he was making cigarettes for others. It gave him something to do.

      He has more operatives than even I do, but then they're far more important to him than to me. He ain't going nowhere, and takes offense at the drop of a verbal hat. He boycotted me for several months because I called him on his chess habit of playing White a lot more than Black. It was getting ridiculous.

    • Terminator: The genial 2nd-shift floor cleaner, young adult, Asian heritage, plays chess, or at least watches T and I play.

    • (The) Thief: A temporary resident, managed to steal Saijo's gloves (which he then wore constantly), and the pocket change of many a day-room resident. Also went wee-wee outside, almost into the Koi pond. I gave serious thought to getting some of the residents to beat the stuffing out of him, before I learned how poorly that would be received by the bureaucratic overlords. One day he was evicted, sent to another facility. I came remarkably close to succeeding his location when he left, but was persuaded otherwise by Lilac.

    • TSS: [Lunatic?] The Silent Smiler, my current roommate. Superfically jovial, his smile is a Satanic cover for the turmoil that lies within. About 6' 1.5", thin, Mulatto (I think), he suffers the ravages of Wilson's Disease, a build-up of copper in his body, which, among other things has poisoned some of his cognitive processes. He can, for instance, remember a password (I allowed him use of my computer for a while.), but he can't reliably flush greater than, say, 90% of the time.

      He walks almost endlessly, hands behind his back, from the day room to our room and back (generally he returns to get a paper towel to treat his drool), save at the beginning and end of the day, when he rolls. His gait is abnormal, and I can hear the distinctive "clip-clop" from tens of yards away.

      Judging from his behavior, TSS would like to live as though he were in a 24x7 disco, except for the very rare occasions in which he feels the need to turn off his lights and the music. He has two radios and an iPad to enforce this. Or, rather, had. the iPad is broken, and at least one of the radios is damaged, as is his headset. He finally found an outlet for his music, the first-floor day room, where loud music is routinely played by others.

      Most of his habits are coincidentally chronicled in this video for Kentucky Christian College, as the perpetrators. In addition, he routinely leaves hangers on the floor, food on the floor, likewise urine, clothes out, or hung on the door to the bathroom, used washcloths on the shower chair, bedsheets in the bathroom (think improvised bath mat), razors, toothpaste squeeze tubes, and mouthwash shots on -- or sometimes in -- the sink. He routinely pumps up the volume and then leaves within about ten seconds, as if he can't stand the very music that he plays. I agree with his assessment.

      He's a petty, vindictive, willful little shit, more than willing to pump up the volume in our room at any time from 5:30AM to about 1AM, and, based on conversations with staff, an incorrigible liar, meddling with forces beyond his current comprehension. His actions have, by at least one account, threatened the liberty of two of his local relatives, who have now abandoned him.

      He also has quite the collection of partial toilet paper rolls, out-of-date milk and juice, some feeding liquid designed for the non-eating set, and a little scrub brush that he got from the bathroom, when I left it there. He also re-stole some soap that I stole from a hotel. Life isn't fair. I got it back! He still has the shower scrubber that I brought with me from the last room.

      And yet he's loved by several of the CNAs who cut his hair, help him bathe, and talk endlessly to him as they ignore me.

      He's slated for the lunatic floor of The Abattoir, whenever they can fit him in.

    • TwoAndBack:A physical therapist. I would call it maintenance therapy, but in the perverse jargon here, it's called "restorative." Big, black, about 5'6" with large boobs, she had, for many months, me on daily walks during the worst part of the day: Late afternoon, when shift-change, hall cleaning, and resident ambling about all at the same time. Good for learning how to overcome obstacles, but a PITA.

      Good hearted. Got me a handfull of salt packets once. They lasted for months. She has six kids and is not-too-distantly related to a well-known boxer. So I'm not messing with her.

    • Uglifruit: Perhaps the ugliest CNA in the building, which is a high bar to clear. Don't know much about her, but she once insisted on visually making sure I was all right while in the common shower. The second time she tried that with me, she got soaked. I have no idea how that happened.
      There wasn't a third time.

    • (The) Veteran: A minor, color character, Blind, he normally frequents the "Day Room" and late at night, surreptitiously pleasures himself under his coat, sometimes. Unable to do anything for himself, one hears from him from time to time, speaking "I need to go to the bathroom!" or "I need a glass of water!" Repeating as needed.

    • (The) Volunteer: The Office of the Ombudsman tasks volunteers to drop into rehab centers twice per week, at unpredictable times. In practice, this means that one won't see them on Wednesdays. The volunteer looks for issues involving care, food, or subsequent housing. Except she isn't on our side vis-a-vis food. I don't think she's eaten it.

    • Wan: Big, tall, bad back, needed pain control, but also worked out as much as I've ever seen anyone do so. Had a very developed sense of right and wrong, and applied it to the management and staff here. They didn't like it very much. I put substantial work into fixing his computer (his brother's, really) and smartphone. Didn't even get a Chinese meal for it.

    • (The) Whiner:Former Roommate. Liked to play television at all hours, and even more so when I was also in. I distinctly recall one night when he was playing it quietly and noticed that I'd returned. The volume went up, of course.

      A reasonably big black bald? guy, he seems to have suffered a stroke, and can only move about by pushing with his less bad arm. I was his eighth roommate, as he complained about all of the others. Nobody told me. His last roommate before me had television on not merely loud, but as loud as possible. For five continuous days. And, to my knowledge, did not complain about that, though he did try to watch his television.

      Now he's in a room with S, who has his television on at all times. Sucks to be you, Whiner.

    • Ziyi:For now, the first-shift duty nurse. Young, cute Amerasian looks, still learning the job, does my wound-care from time to time and is a bit of a ditz.
    Posted 11-30-2014 at 02:49 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar

    Dramatis personæ: 5 of 3. Afterthoughts, Omissions, and New Arrivals.

    • RhoRho: As of now, my 1st-shift CNA. A medium-short black immigrant, cheerful, and generally obtains my requested salad with lunch. To her credit, she is adamant about changing my bedsheets with absolute regularity.
    • Smoking Black Woman 1:Alas, not smoking hawt. I'll fill this in, as with
    • Smoking Black Woman 2:Alas, not smoking hawt. I'll fill this in.
    Posted 12-01-2014 at 01:21 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline

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