Notes from Underground Part II

Going thru the 3rd month here, the financial situation has still not been straightened out. My SS is supposed to go into a different bank and there’s supposed to be a $250 surplus that I can use for spending money (per month).

The finance woman called Social Security while I was sitting on the other side of her plant wall (for security reasons) and I could hear the whole messy phone transaction.

Eventually it turned out that they had all the paperwork but none of it had been processed.

So I wrote a check from my old account to pay for my state here during July.

I haven’t written much because nothing has changed. After coming down from getting my dinner to go (I can’t eat in the dining room- too cold and the conversations are getting monotonous.)

So I wait in the hall outside the dining room sitting in my Rollator and two “blue coats” stop by and check me off their lists. Yes, I’m taking the fried chicken to my room. It’s too cold for me and my back is bothering me. Both are true.

Also one of the three elevators has been broken for two days which means you can wait up to 40 minutes only to get an elevator filled with Rollators that you can’t squeeze into so I figure after everyone has gotten to the dining room I’ll be able to get an empty elevator going down which is the case.

I get to my room with a box which is supposed to contain fried chicken and baked potato. The chicken must have bee very small. I might call it a freak of a chicken if there are such things and instead of a baked potato there is a scoop of rice with some sort of tasteless cheese mixed in. It might be their version of risotto.

My usual waitress for dinner walks by me with no acknowledgment. She has come close to throwing plates at me a few times because I talk back once in a while.

I try to keep my Rollator next to my table out of everybody’s way, and some people are allowed to keep their Rollators with them, otherwise they are place in the hallway, about half a block away. And you need to call a “blue shirt” to get it for you. Often they’re all grouped together at the far end of dining room.

I had managed to keep mine by my side until dessert and then Laura noticed it and in-between yelling about how hot it was and telling people she wasn’t taking coffee orders yet, she yelled what’s this walker doing here (mine).

And the gaggle of blue shirts broke up and put mine out in the hall. I said as it was taken I’m just going to eat this cheese pie (it was dumped in a cup) but that was ignored.

I took a a few bites of the supposed cheesecake and waited for a “blue shirt” to pass by. Finally, cold and pissed off I yelled as loud as I could to the blue shirts, “Now can one of you bring my Rollator.”

Everyone in the room turned to look at me. A friend at another table said, stay happy or something like that. I do remember her saying: Heaven is very high up.

What’s that supposed to mean, I snapped.

Keep calm, she said. It doesn’t do any good to get mad.

Well, I’m doing my best, I said. And most of the time, I’m pretty chipper considering it all.

Meanwhile a “blue coat” brought my Rollator, gave me a dirty look, and took off.

Anyway, with the help of an old friend I got my drive enclosure hooked up yesterday, which gives me access to 100,000s of photos. And they brought back good memories of when I could walk and the city was mine to photograph.

This morning, I taped the guy upstairs repeating “help me” for 20 minutes. I found that it was coming into my room through a wall vent.

I can upload it easily to the blog, but I’m trying very hard to keep this journal from going into the multimedia world. It forces me to attempt to describe this crazy world.

Published by Dave

My name is David Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City. Or I was before I had two strokes. I now write from a Nursing Home.

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