Monday, May 30, 2011

Bev and Roz Escape the Nursing Home

"This is why I never had kids. They always turn on you." Roz is fuming as she breaks open the tap on a new box of wine. Once her glass is filled and she draws a long sip from it she continues, "Can you believe it Bev? Lily's own children sent her to that... that... that PLACE! Gah! It's so evil I refuse to even mention it!"

"You mean the nursing home?" Bev hands her glass to Roz, who refills it for her, "Yes... THAT place. It's so awful. We HAVE to break her out."

Roz has always had a flair for the dramatic. And when she gets an idea in her head, she rarely lets it go. She sits on the couch and thinks. Bev watches her dear friend. When Roz gets worked up she can't sit still. Her foot twitches and she smokes one cigarette right after the other.

Bev tries to offer her some comfort, "Well, maybe Lily LIKES the nursing home?"

"Don't be naive, Bev. NOBODY likes the nursing home. It's the pound for old people... except nobody wants to adopt Grandma and buy her a chew toy."

Bev thought for a moment, "We could go visit her..."

Roz snapped at her, "And run the risk of those vile people capturing us?" Roz was sure nursing homes were just waiting for the elderly to walk in so they could snatch them up and make them play bingo for hours on end, "Besides they wouldn't let us bring wine to her. I'm sure she could use a drink, too."

"Then what do you propose we do?" Bev lit a cigarette only to have Roz steal it from her chubby fingers. So, Bev lit another one.

"First, we have to do some re-con. We need to figure out the best time to get her out of there, AND we need to get her co-operation."

"What if she doesn't want to escape."

"Bev... stop asking so many questions and just get on board already." Bev laughed, "Okay Roz... let's help somebody escape from a nursing home."

The re-con was easy. All they needed to do was rent a car, sit in the parking lot at night and watch the activities happening around the nursing home. The original plan was to nab her during a smoke break, but it turns out the nursing home no longer lets the residents smoke... not even outside. What a crock!

It was obvious from the beginning that the escape would have to happen after 6 pm and before 9 pm. This seemed to be the time when visitors were still coming and going, the managers and office people were gone for the day, and the doors weren't locked. Also a lot of the group activities happened in the evening hours, and the mass confusion would help their plot.

Roz refused to step inside the facility before the actual plan was underway, but Bev was brave enough to go in and have a meeting of the minds with Lily. She found Lily in her room, sitting in a wheel chair watching the Price is Right.

"Drew Carey is no Bob Barker." Lily turned at the sound of Bev's voice and smiled at her visitor.

"BEV! What a nice surprise!"

"Why are you in a wheel chair?"

"They put everybody in one. It helps them corral us for dinner." Lily stood up, quite easily and on her own. She crossed the room to lean over Bev's large body and hug her old friend.

"You seem capable of independence, why did your kids put you in here?"

Lily sighed and sat on her bed, "They said it would be easier to take care of selling the house and getting everything in order. They act like I'm going to die tomorrow. Ever since Harold died..." Lily's eyes teared up, "They act like I can't take care of myself. They worry."

Bev shook her head, "You don't deserve to be here. You're not sick! You're not even that old!"

Lily laughed, "Sometimes I have to remember that I'm not 30 anymore."

Bev reached into the bag which was tethered to her scooter and produced a thermos, "Want some?"

Lily grinned, "What is it?"

"Does it matter?"
"No!" Bev poured some of the liquid into the lid of the thermos and handed it to Lily. Lily took a sip and said, "mmmm... that's the shit."

"Roz and I want to get you out of here." Bev said as Lily emptied the lid and asked for more.

"Oh, Roz! Where is she? I want to see her. She's so much fun."

"She's refusing to enter until we break you out." Lily grinned and said, "Are the two of you scheming on my behalf?"

"Well, that depends if you're up for a scheme or not."

"Only if you two have a pack of smokes waiting on the other side for me."

"Deal." Bev was glad to see it didn't take much convincing. Over the next hour they went over the details of Lily's escape. By the time Bev left, Lily was nice and liquored up. Bev left her to her soap operas and reported back to Roz, "It's a go. We strike tonight."

At 7 o'clock the bingo started in the main dining room. The nurses and nurse's aides who weren't dealing with the activity were busy giving showers to other residents and/or putting them to bed. Lily told one of the aides she'd like to sit outside. The aide told her no, since there wouldn't be anybody to keep an eye on her. Bev and Roz's plan hinged on Lily being allowed outside, and the sudden change in plan put a large kink in that.

Luckily Roz had a back up plan. She'd been watching each worker enter and leave the building. There were a series of codes that needed to be punched in to work the doors. The front door had a different one than the side and back door. Also, to exit the building there was a different button/code to use on each door.

Bev waited in the car. She was an excellent get-away driver, and it was easier for her to wait and Roz to maneuver. Roz waited until the Bingo game was in full swing and she chose the side door. She punched in the code and entered quietly. Following Bev's instructions she found Lily's room. She dodged a few workers while roaming the large building, but managed to find the room without being seen. Lily was waiting with a duffle bag packed.

Together they went through the hallways deftly and found the side door. Roz punched in the code and they were out. Within seconds they were in the car and Bev took off. They all cackled loudly.

"What a rush!" Lily exclaimed, "I never felt so alive!"

Bev and Roz both knew it was only a matter of time before they were found out, so they decided to live it up while they had time. They hit a club where the doorman almost didn't let them in, until Roz informed the young man that she knew his grandfather, and she also knew several pressure points that would debilitate him in an instant. Somehow, that convinced the guy to let them past the velvet rope. He was either scared, or figured they wouldn't be any harm anyway.
The music was loud and the bartender refused to take Bev's Senior Discount Card, so they left. They found a liquor store, stocked up on wine and cigs and headed back to Bev and Roz's apartment. They partied all night long. They cackled as they all recalled stories which had been long forgotten or retold millions of times.

Lily passed out first and then Bev and Roz continued the party outside on the patio. They each passed out in lawn chairs like a couple of college kids.

The next day Lily's kids were pounding on the front door. When Bev answered it she was blurry eyed and hungover. "Where is our mother?"

Bev played innocent, "Didn't you put her in a nursing home?"

"Yes, and yesterday somebody in a scooter visited her, and then she disappeared. WHERE IS SHE?"

Bev sighed and knew the party was over. She opened the door and allowed Lily's kids in. Lily was in the kitchen making breakfast.

"Come on Mom, we're leaving." Lily's oldest son said as he attempted to grab her arm.

"I'm not going anywhere!" Lily demanded, "I'm making breakfast. And I raised you better than to grab a woman like that. Let go of me right now."

Lily's authoritative tone shocked Bev, and it worked on her son. He let go of her and backed off.

"Why did you run away?"

"Because that place is awful. Would you like a pancake dear?"

"No. I want you to go back to the nursing home."

"Well, that's not happening. What about you, Melissa. Would you like a pancake?" Lily offered breakfast to her daughter who, up until now, hadn't said a word. She politely declined.

"I know Bev wants one, don't you?" Bev nodded. She was starving. Roz stumbled into the room just then and said, "Well hell... the gang's all here."

"I should've known you'd be in on this. You ruined my graduation party." Lily's son started in on Roz but before Roz could bite back at him Lily interrupted, "That's no way to speak to somebody in their home. Besides, your graduation party was lame until Roz spiked the punch and started singing karaoke."

Roz grinned at him as Lily rested a hot pancake on her plate. Both Bev and Roz started eating their breakfast as Lily explained to her children that she would like to stay in this apartment. Bev started to protest that they might not have enough room, but she couldn't speak for some reason. She looked over to Roz and the look on Roz's face mirrored Bev's.

It dawned on both of them that their breakfast had been poisoned. Lily continued to talk to her kids, "I think the apartment will be up for rent soon, and I can afford it on my fixed income." Bev and Roz both struggled to hang on to their lives, but within minutes both of them fell out of their chairs. Lily stood up and asked her children to leave, "If you'll excuse me now... I have to call the Coroner."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cubic Zirconia in the Rough

As I apply my perfect smoky eye for a Friday Night Karaoke session I jam out to some Pat Benetar and Heart. I'm preparing for a fun night in which I will be a microphone whore and a beer drinking fool. Trust me, I'm a fun time. But I'm not getting ready for a date. No, I'm meeting up with a girlfriend.

A little over a week ago I met a guy. Believe me when I say I had a wonderful time with him. The time flew by like it was nothing and he had me laughing and hanging on his every word. He wasn't particularly charming or even very good looking, but I went with it. I went with it because it's rare for me to find a guy I genuinely enjoy spending time with. Also, it's rare when that guy also thinks I'm beautiful, and a catch, and he can't wait to see me again. Honestly, I felt like I had found something worth exploring.

So why am I not going on a date with him tonight? It's a Friday night... an optimal night for young single twenty-somethings of the opposite sex to mingle in the night life. The opportunity for romance is afoot, is it not?

Well, it seems his interest has waned. Is it embarrassing for me to admit that I didn't manage to hold a guy's interest for longer than a week? Frankly, yes. It is embarrassing for me to admit that. I get told by my friends that I'm beautiful, funny, charismatic, smart, and a really fun time. I know for a fact that I'm not particularly clingy and I like to go with the flow when it comes to guys (something Cosmo tells me guys LOVE).

So here's the break down. This guy texted me a lot right away. Now I'm not a huge phone person. Yes, I have a smart phone and I keep it near my side most of the time, but I don't check it constantly. It's rare that I'll be huddled up in the corner with my face in my phone while I converse with somebody who isn't in the room. I prefer face to face contact. I tend to leave my phone unattended when I'm at home. It will be in my bedroom while I'm vegging out to netflix in the living room. So I have to be honest when I say that I didn't answer every single one of his texts. When I explained this to him, he stopped texting me constantly. I saw this as a good sign, right? He's able to listen and adjust, correct?

No. He went to the complete opposite end of the spectrum and stopped texting unless I texted him first. Okay, fine... I guess I asked for that one. So, I played into his little game. And that's how I viewed it... as a game. Also, in the back of my mind, I saw it as pouting because I wasn't conforming to his need for constant attention.

And that brings me to the next subject. After one date this guy felt the need to make several sexual innuendos towards me. If we were talking late at night on the phone he mentioned having a "kickstand." Which I steadfastly ignored. I'm not a prude, trust me on that, but I do like to take my time before reaching that level with a guy. I've had my phase of going through men like kleenex and I'm done with it. I've also had a friend with benefits in the past. I'm also done with that. Now I'm looking for a guy for the long haul, and call me old fashioned, but I think there are some things that are better left to the imagination until a little ways down the road. Sex can ruin a good thing. And I thought I had a good thing going with him.

After turning down his requests time and time again (these requests consisted of me driving an hour and a half to spend the night with him, send him naughty pictures of myself and so on), he's decided to not return any of my phone calls or texts. He swore up and down he was wanting to get to know me and actually date me. He told me it wasn't only about sex, but that he's a guy and I can't blame him for thinking about it. Yet, here I am high and dry because I wouldn't get down and wet with him. This sudden about face only makes me happier that I didn't give it up to him.

While the whole sex conversation so soon makes me nervous... it also makes me something else: feeling very disrespected. I realize men have urges and they supposedly think about sex more than women do (though crash any girl's night out and you'll hear some pretty raunchy talk going on). But we live in a world full of sexual crime. When a woman is sexually attacked it's very HARD for her to open up sexually to a new man. It takes time and patience and lots of understanding. Guess what? She probably won't clue you in to the fact that this is WHY she wants to take things slow. So as you're jabbering on about your kickstand she's fretting over how it's going to feel when you touch her or kiss her. Will it trigger a bad memory? Will she be able to take it? Men don't think about this... they don't think about how their words and their incessant nagging on the topic is very un-nerving and sometimes... highly inappropriate.

I guess another one bites the dust. Honestly, I'm not too worried about it. I know I'll find my diamond in the rough... if he's meant to be found. And when I do, he'll understand my need to take things slow in order to preserve the good. When things ARE taken slow... it's so much better anyway. But tonight... me and my perfect eye make up are hitting the town and belting some high notes. I just hope I don't make the cats cry with me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Destination... Nobody Knows.

She walks. And although she's out of breath and her side hurts, she continues to walk. Her rapid pulse thumps in her ears and her sweat drips down her neck. A cool breeze wafts through and it cools the paths of sweat on her face. Her smile shows appreciation to Mother Nature for this simple gift.

She only halts when her path changes. She stops and thinks to herself, "Will I be able to return on this same path when I come back? Will I get lost, or give up? Or will there be no turning back?"

Usually she silences these seeds of self doubt and trudges on in spite of them. If the down slope is steep she simply tells herself she'll work extra hard to climb back up it upon her return... if she ever returns. She's been walking for a while now and hasn't turned around yet.

She glances back to see how far she's come. She can't even see where she started. This makes her smile but it also strikes fear into her heart. She fears that she's truly alone in this. She fears her path was only made for her to trudge through... that nobody else will ever join her.

She fantasizes as she walks. After all it's just her, her heavy breath, her sweat, her pulse, and her thoughts on this journey. Those thoughts are her only companion, though she secretly longs for a real companion. When others ask her about it, she shrugs and says she enjoys her time alone. In reality, she'd enjoy it a lot more if it weren't a solitary trudge but rather a lazy stroll while holding somebody else's hand. The progression of this thought always leads to the same place... thoughts of the one who once did that very thing with her... lazy stroll, hand in hand.

Her thoughts dictate her speed. As she thinks of him she goes faster. She may even break into a light jog as she tries to outpace the memory. She can't out run his memory, though. He steals into her mind whenever he damn well feels like it. His laugh. His quirky sense of humor. His... everything. It all reminds her. And, even though she doesn't think about him all the time, when she does think about him he's all she can think about. Eventually the thoughts turn dark as she recalls how he left. Then she remembers how he stayed gone... and now she has to pretend she's okay with it. She's not. Her sweat blends with her tears as she struggles to keep some composure.

She walks until she’s no longer in the city, the town, the village where she lives. She's on a country road and there isn't a house for miles. She finds a patch of trees and she seeks shelter in their shade. The breeze blows as she sits on a large rock. Finally she's found enough solitude so she can cry. She does. She heaves a heavy sob until her strength is depleted and she can sob no more.

When she's done she stands up, stretches, and decides to keep walking. Where to? Nobody, not even she, herself, knows.