Thursday, July 25, 2013

my life and welcome to it

I work evenings in an Alzheimer's unit. The first bullet point on my job description is patient safety so I follow people around making sure they don't fall down or put their hands under a hot water faucet or drink milk that's been sitting in their rooms for two days. It's not a hard job, it's not an easy job, it's what I do. I used to have more sophisticated jobs with lots of paperwork and computer time and responsibility but I needed to do something truly useful with my life so now I do this. I'm a lucky slob.

I'm unfolding linen napkins under the table. The three elderly women sitting with me are engrossed with the folding of these napkins and I need to keep unfolding them so they can stay busy and satisfied with their utterly mundane and kind of sad lives. I love them and I feel sorry for them and that's why I'm here. To keep unfolding the linen napkins.

And then Gretchen sits down with us, a really overweight certified nursing assistant with bright copper curly locks. She's a smart one and witty and she makes two flavors of ice cream shakes every Sunday night for my darlings. I tell her I like her Grecian/ Roman hair-style, she said she was going for a 40's romantic Hepburn look and I said, oh and that too.
She grabs Dottie's hand, a woman who has been folding the same napkin for forty minutes and squeals, "Dottie, I am in such an incredible mood because I have had the most wonderful date last night!"

"Oooh, details!" I squeal back, something I'm not really good at but I'm being polite because I don't know what else to do, it's my default mode.

Gretchen's kind of a slut I realize as she explains how she met this guy on some dating website after breaking up with her worthless former boyfriend who never took her anywhere, they just "boned" in Gretch's pathetic third floor loser apartment.

So the new guy has some kind of birth defect in his private area and needed 17 surgeries and isn't that a lot for one organ and she took a picture of the thing and was going to show it to me and I fanned that nasty phone away from me, away from me you demon nurse, you and your organ phone.  So instead she showed me a picture of the guy's face and I said, I don't think he wanted his picture taken guessing from his scowl and she agreed and then it was my turn to say something so I said, he has a nice face, my standard response when I look at a photo of a serial killer who happens to be someone's boyfriend.

And I realize I work with pervs and this is confirmed when Steve, the asexual male charge nurse who has never said anything to me other than "could you pick up that kleenex" sits down at the table. He reminds Gretch that she has patients needing attention and when she leaves he leans into me. "You know," he says, "17 surgeries can result in a lot of nerve degeneration and that means more endurance and longevity. I know this personally." I don't look at him, I never will again and I feel a wave of relief when he returns to his med cart, his white slacks just a little bit too tight in the buttocks area. God, I love my life.

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

Do you make this stuff UP????? I mean how many circumcisions can one guy have??????