the elderly

All posts tagged the elderly

The Norm of Evil

Published October 23, 2014 by Sandee

I told my neighbor once that I want to be Kathleen when I grow up. “Oh really!” He said, looking at me sideways. Though we love her, she has a reputation for being — mean. Kathleen’s old, 87, and lives two floors down from me. She never married and rides her bike everyday. I gave her the bike helmet my dad bought me fifteen years ago. I was too vain to wear it. She still uses it. She’s feisty, independent and has a foul-mouth. She’s pretty with a pixie cut, sharply-defined chin and clear eyes. Kathleen came from Ireland in the ‘50s and has a slight brogue. When I’m running to and from like most people, she’s ambling along the street with Molly Malone, the tiny dog she named after a prostitute. “Oh hurry, hurry, hurry! — It’ll be the death of you, dear!” She’ll screech after me, her way of expressing the slight she feels when “we youngins” don’t have time to shoot the shit with her.

Her voice sweeps up in cadence at the end of her biting observations. I found her “observations” at one time quaint and refreshing. “Ooohhh what a little cunt that one is!” She’d say referring to the old French woman Hélène who lived in this building. I sort of agreed with that observation, but later decided that Kathleen had too many “observations” about people and that perhaps I didn’t want to be like her. She was too damn mean.

On her way to church, she told me about the woman she took to emergency one night. “Oh, Sandee she’s ab-solutely looney tunes! I picked her up and she was dripping in jewels as if she were going to the ball – when we were just going to the fucking emergency room.” The woman happened to have just walked by. Kathleen more or less talked about her in front of her face. “That’s not nice, Kathleen,” I said.

Another time she said she hated the banality, “Have a nice day.” I told her that we could use it as a euphemism for “fuck off and die.” So then I’d see her while I was rushing in and out the way she hates and I’d say in passing “Have a nice daaay!”

Yesterday she had the sweetest demeanor. I hadn’t seen her in a while. I hugged her. I know she needs love. She just gets on my nerves with that negativity shit – to the point where I avoided her last summer. She said, “I don’t know why I’m so happy all the time now.” There was a trembling vulnerability about her. We talked. “I was even humming earlier – that’s not me — for God’s sake Sandee, I think I’m going senile!” She said. Before I finished laughing she asked if I had planned to freeze my eggs, switching the subject quickly the way old people do often because of the ticking clock. “I hate eggs,” I told her. “These eggs.” She pointed to her stomach. “Hell no. I hate kids – I mean I don’t hate kids, I just never thought I needed any,” I said. Perhaps she was advising me on the regrets of not seizing time.

As we departed, she told me that I was the second person who’d hugged her that day. Finally, she said she got a diagnosis from the doctor. She had dyscrasia, she explained. But she said she felt healthier than a horse. “I’m ill,” she said, however. She didn’t look the least bit. I told her to please call or come up anytime – she has my keys. “Get a second opinion,” I advised. She was so pretty, small and delicate, possibly the side-effect of the news. It was a definite departure from her norm of evil.

The 7th Circle of Hell

Published June 23, 2012 by Sandee

 

I’m the one who should be relegated to the 9th circle of hell — oh, I meant the 7th circle.  This region of hell is for those who perpetrate violence against old people.  After two days of tirade against the old lady who charges me with forcing her down a flight of steps with my help, I have shed my defenses.  I went through the stages of feelings and came out on the other end, which includes the understanding of where she might be coming from.  This means putting myself in her shoes (orthopedic).  She’s merely being proactive, yes, in gathering information regarding this farce.  No?  Well, God forbid, some slowly developing crack in her ass should develop as we both landed on our asses when we fell – no, no, another crack — I assume that she has one crack already.  This would be very expensive to repair.  So she might have to sue the organization for medical coverage.  Yeah, that’s, it probably.

Seriously, I hope she’s okay.  It can be dangerous to fall when you’re old.  A lot of old people go rapidly down hill after falling – oh God I’m scared now.  What if she, should…  A-anyway, this incident was educational.  I learned about the dangers of helping a stranger, and I learned how my own self-centered fear had me imagining this poor woman in a boiling pot of oil.

This is the last time I offer to help an old bitch down the steps!

Published June 17, 2012 by Sandee

She was hunched over, frail and carried a cane.  At the edge of the steps about to walk down she looked so teeny, susceptible to an unhealthy tumble.  “Sure you don’t want to take the elevator, Methuselah?”  I said.  “No, no, I’ll be fine,” she warbled.   That lying wrinkly twat!  I’d seen her before.  We’d had the loveliest of chats — she’s 200 years old, she is, and had some stories to tell from the days of yore, as you might imagine.  But the last time I recall she had taken the elevator, as I had suggested.

Well, I just couldn’t see it, her getting down those stairs in one piece.  I ran to aid her.  “I’ll help you — here,” I said offering my arm.  “Well, I could just hold the banister,” she said.  But it was two miles away from where we stood in the center of the steps.  “Here, let me,” I said again.  “Oh, o-okay,” she warbled taking my arm, and blibbity, bop, clop, cloppity, clack, crack – we both fell!  “Oh, oh, I told you I wanted to hold the banister,” she bleated – “You meant well, but you don’t know how to hold a person,” she scolded.  What the — why, I orta!  We finally got her old ass up off the steps, she went to her car and drove away.

From here on end, any half-dead, dried up raisins I see who need help crossing the street, or stepping off the bus can kiss my ass!  And I’ll be good goddamed if you get my seat on the bus – no, no, I’ll continue to do this – so people can see how magnanimous I am.  But other than that I mean well, but I just don’t know how to hold a person — so fuck off and die!