Morning in Paradise

Another Day in Paradise

I ventured out to check out the weather and there were Debbie, my feisty, funny, one-legged friend and Margie, the athletic near-deaf lady with the fluffy Pomeranian, Tessa, which looks like a tiny, precious fox. I feel compelled to check the weather every morning because my farmer father felt weather was crucial. He didn’t rely on weather reports much; he had a whole series of methods for reading the sky, which were slightly more accurate than weather reports. Weather reports are best guesses. For example, the weather here for Tuesday said 100% chance of rain and nary a drop fell from the sky.

Debbie, Margie and I discussed total solitary confinement and decided it was torture, would make you crazy and kill you after awhile. Some old folks here live in self-inflicted solitary confinement, ignored and marginalized, and I bet this shortens their life, impairs their memory and basically depresses the crap out of them.

We discussed my new video camera, for which I’ve been saving for months. I read the instructions word by word. I wanted to get started right. It said, “Insert memory card.” Where’s the memory card? Let’s see, it’s tiny, did I drop it in the quilt somewhere? Nope, you have to buy the memory card separately. They could have told me that in the first place. It can make videos underwater, they say. But I will never test that in the dark, gator-infested Suwannee River, which flows mysteriously by my apartment.

I started back inside and saw Michelle approaching from the parking lot, frantically pumping her scrawny legs. I tried to outpace her so we wouldn’t have to ride in the same elevator. She is called bats**t crazy” around here, with a bad case of verbal diarrhea. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….delivered as fast as she walks, but with far less purpose. Last week she blurted out to a mentally challenged young woman, “There is no dew on my car…say, are you a retard?” The young woman, who lacks the coping skill of dismissing Michelle as bats**t crazy, had a slight mental breakdown and ended up hospitalized.

I dashed for the elevator, but heard, “Wait, I’m coming!” and she got on. “Which floor?” I asked. “Three,” she said. “Oh good,” I thought, “this won’t last long.” “It’s cool this morning, there was dew on my car, I love it. Caw, caw, caw,” she said, imitating a crow she had heard. Then she laughed. (What is the significance of dew on your car? No, do NOT try to make sense of it.) “How do you like my outfit? I feel pretty, oh so pretty.” She sang and twirled her 1950’s hoop skirt around the elevator. Each item of clothing had a different, colorful pattern, including her shoes.

“Here you go, third floor,” I announced. “Have a nice day.” “You, too. Caw, caw, caw, hahahaha.” I wondered which was worse: A month of solitary confinement or a month being locked up with Michelle in an elevator.

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