She was sitting in the commons like a fat white goddess. Her sitting stance window pane flat, hanging over the edges of the chair where the bottom meets the setting.
Long hair in frosted streams poorly concealing double faces bedecked with all the requisite jewels and brand names with THE PURSE.
If you saw her you might, mistakenly, think she did not belong here. Perhaps she is a visiting auntie. The rich auntie that comes and takes care of the family schizo.
“Hey HEY!” she motioned me over rather imperiously. So I zoomed over in my power chair which is provided by the state. She looked at me strangely. I was not certain what, exactly, she was looking for in me but it felt like she maybe wanted to filet me and cook me for dinner. Her smile was gentle and kind on the surface but something insane was lurking just beneath it.
“I just moved here. I hate it here. What’s your name?”
“Jan. What’s your name?”
“Yes my father is a doctor. I hate it here. Nobody likes me.”
She started to cry copiously. I was this same way when I was in grade school. An easy crier. I learned not to be over time.
Gasping and choking on the words she told me.
“I am fat I AM FAT I am too fat I went on Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and I want a boyfriend and I hate my bathroom I can only use the one here in the commons and the other people here got tired of cooking and cleaning for me and I can’t smoke whenever I want I have to go out to my car and drive it across the street and…”
Ahhhhhh NOW I knew who she was!
She was the talk of our whole building! You must understand we are all sad, pitiful people with little in our lives so we are horrid gossips and terrible to each other, while smiling, most of the time. This was the ‘new’ woman who had every other resident living here that was able COOKING and CLEANING and FETCHING and RUNNING and, while she obviously had access to lots of money, failing to pay them with the requisite cigarettes she promised because it’s cheaper to give cash! If she had a different personality she could have easily had a boyfriend! The people who had helped her were angry at being treated like servants by someone who didn’t seem to understand she was doing this. They wanted a carton of cigarettes! NOT 20.00 dollars!
“If you need help you can get help that some of us here do. If your doctor says you qualify you can get a person who comes and helps you clean house and stuff and you can keep your money and buy more cigarettes!”
At this time the 70 year old lady who could twerk at the Christmas parties walked by and came and sat down and said to the choking, crying woman, “Look at Jan here! She can’t walk well and she is happy! She doesn’t need a man and she is fat too just like you! You can be happy! Kathy, upstairs, she is fat and she has a boyfriend! Look at me I am 70 years old and even I have a boyfriend! Just don’t set such high standards and you can…”
Princess was really crying now! Miss Twerk’s boof was a 30 year old hobosexual, he was homeless and he lived with the old woman so he could have a PLACE to live but princess didn’t know that part. Miss Twerk sighed and left the two of us alone again.
“My head is ringing! I want yoghurt so bad! I want yoghurt and a cookie! I want a cookie please please do you have a cookie?”
“SURE! I will be happy to help out!”
I zoomed back to my room and got a yoghurt and a cookie and a plastic spoon. I took them and zoomed back and smiled and gave them to her. She grabbed them and held them to her body like she was terrified someone would take them from her. She quit crying and, with trembling hands, she opened the cookie and, looking furtively in all directions like a small dog ready to attack, she bent her head down so low it almost hid the action of taking a shameful bite. I left her in respect to whatever was tormenting her but I wondered why it was she reminded me of a small dog? Who had done things to her that made her into this tiny princess trapped in a huge monster body?
I already knew my own story.