Stopping By Providence On A Deviant Evening
I visit Providence Care Center, a “senior living provider” with a rating of average. I seek residents who have no visitors. I don’t want to visit the visited because I’m not interested in arrogance. I’m interested in sharing my powers of visitation with those in need, those who will not have to pencil me in next to some dumb grandchild success-story jackass. I go to be a five-foot-nine, 185-pound middle finger to the American way, the one pledging allegiance to youth and believing the disappearance of strength and memory pulls the bathtub plug on your humanity too.
Also, I go as a harvester of stories. There’s so much to gather from the long, long lives. Am I particular? You bet I am. I tolerate stories about your choir days, or the times when nickels and dimes had meaning, or about your childhood dog who is now as dead as a pharaoh. I listen. But these aren’t the stories I go for.
I go for stories about fear, murder, and the Devil. They’re just infinitely better, and you know it.
Also, recently, I’ve been going to play Spin The Bracelet.
Belly up to a table. Remove your big plastic bracelet. Spin it like a top on the table. Watch it spin. Listen to the bizarre engine sound of speedy plastic on tabletop. Watch and listen as the spinning and whirring gets faster and louder until the bracelet tips onto its side and chatter-giggles to a stop.
You win. Every time. That’s the game.
I don’t know how Spin The Bracelet started, but I know my friends Nelly and Mary play it like fiends. They might be the only ones who play. But that doesn’t stop them, not one bit.
Try it. Get a bracelet. Spin it. Win. Spin again, win again.
I parked, signed in, then headed for the common room. I heard the bracelets spinning long before I got there.
At the table sat Nelly and Mary, of course, the usuals, but they were joined by two others: a man in a high-tech motorized wheelchair. He’s Ben. And another woman who is very quiet. As quiet as midnight underwater. I don’t know…