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Monday, April 16, 2007

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Ester, our pocket knife loving friend from the last blog post isn’t one to participate in most activities. She will rarely join the others unless you specifically invite her to come and have a snack, which often times is included in the activities. Since she is more of a loner than the rest, I’ve tried finding one on one activities that she and I can do.

She makes it perfectly clear that the other residents annoy the shit out of her. It isn’t unusual for her to tell someone to “shut the hell up,” or “go to hell,” or to simply to run them over with her wheelchair. I’m not even kidding.

She never married or had kids, which tells me she has always preferred to be a loner. She will “help me” work a crossword, but she won’t do one on her own. I feel like I have to try extra hard with her because her mouthy ways tend to run others off, including some of the staff. But, y’all know me, I ain’t skeered!

I found out she also likes bingo, as long as no one tries sitting at her table. She’s really smart too and is great at trivia, again, as long as no one is around to cramp her style. She loves coffee but no one gives it to her because she is a spiller and they don’t want her to get scalded. I put a few ice cubes in the cup before pouring the coffee over them. She asked me why I am the only one that lets her have coffee. And I said because no one else knows how to make it. A little white lie to make her feel better is just what the lady needs.

Since it was such a nice day today, I thought if I finished up with everyone early, I could take her outside on the patio. She always says she wants to get the hell out of there, so it really seemed like a good idea.

“Hey Ester, it’s almost 70 degrees out today. Would you like to go sit outside for a while?”

“I guess,” her enthusiasm apparently was already outside.

I grabbed a sweater for her on our way out. And then I punched in the code to get us out of the first door. With my arm fully extended trying to hold the door open (which pushes outward) and push her wheelchair through, I ran over my own foot. I held all of my bad words inside, faked a smile and continued through the second set of doors.

Once outside, I parked her chair with her back to the sun. I offered her the sweater and she said, “No. It’s hot out here. What the hell would I do with it?”

Smiling back at her, holding the sweater, I began to make small talk about the flowers that were finally in bloom.

She looked at me so seriously and said, “Are you trying to fucking kill me? I just got over a cold and you take me outside! I want in.”

I don’t know if it was that two minutes of fresh air that did her in, or all of my flowery talk. Regardless, there we were struggling with the doors and wheelchair once again. And our secretary, whose office is in plain sight of the entrance, just sat trying to stifle her laughter. I am so kicking her ass tomorrow.