So while living in this garage, I must remain unheard and unseen for the duration - I shan't be deported, nor formally imprisoned as a result of my being known, but I would likely be cast away. At least my move-in (move-out) options are more nearly optimal now, because….
I F****** GOT APPROVED FOR SSI!
YES. I DID. FOR REAL. IT HAPPENED!
I SHALL RECEIVE A SMALL AMOUNT OF MONTHLY INCOME. REAL MONEY! WOOHOO!!!
So now I can purchase my Gogo Squeeze Applesauce (up to 4 units ingested per day). Annnnddd more importantly … So Delicious Dark Chocolate (fake) ice cream (made with coconut milk) is now part of my daily agenda.
I had some last night and it was gloriously good (something besides applesauce!). It was so so good. It tasted like chocolate and it felt good in my mouth and I swallowed it and I didn't choke and I didn't get all weird afterwards and I wanted more and more and more but I had less and less just to make sure but wow super wow was that so good, and as the name implicates, so delicious!
Ice Cream Unrelated
Ummm…. I am contending though, with intestinal upset. So I was able to orally tolerate a wee bit of Imodium last night. I'm going to be sick again soon, this morning, but hopefully this is a temporary adjustment phase. I think it's because my intestinal bloating is greatly reduced, and my colon is empty, so this super high fiber formula is coursing right through me at 18,000 mph.
So yeah, that's why I'm awake at 4:08 in the morning. Not because they are changing my roommate's diaper with each of the 150 watt light bulbs blaring. Not because the nurse is giving him his wee hours medication after adjusting his grinding squealing bed up and down up and down. Not because the CNAs left the door open and I can hear Dora screaming from across the hallway that there's someone in her bed murdering her to death. Or it's that the CNAs having a loud discussion in regards to some unfortunate boyfriend event, or it's about they're raised rent (again) or having to do with the ridiculous prices they're charging for gasoline.
Nope. None of that.
My former wife (despite her obvious muscle mass) is a petite little thing, but even so, when she wakes up at 5:08 in the morning, I wake up, too. I can hear her marching around upstairs. I know exactly where she is at all times based on pounding her footfalls. Yep, she walks heel to toe. And if you ask me, she has no toes. No digits at the end of her feet. But she's always walked that way. And then the walking ceases and the shower water runs through the pipes, and the pipes run above the garage and the water noisily drains through the pipes.
But no, it's not that bad. It's not THAT noisy. I really should be able to adapt and sleep through that. Or in the least, after having been woken up early on any given morning, I should be able to take a nap whenever I so choose. Unless, the evil-doing leaf blowers return!
So just as I'm getting ready to take my first ever garage nap (at 8:16 a.m. yesterday morning) the groundskeeper people showed up. Full force. Full throttle. Yikes! Easy off on that throttle!!!
Their stay is intensely loud. But as is often the case, they've departed within an hour's time. Just like that. Magical, huh?
So, in between multiple bouts of commode usage, I made a "run" for it. My intention was to take a short roll away from Garageland. A subtle escaping. Making way, before any potentially curious residents return from the office - return home from their jobs.
I roll out the door and head off to the right. Around the corner, then around the next building, and I am FREE! Mostly. Almost. I'm on my way to being free. No one to keep track of me, no one monitoring my actions. No reason to be stealth (while roaming around). No one is going to report me. Well, let's hope not. I also don't need a pass to go wherever I need to go. I can just go. As long as I'm not obvious with my departure and return. As long as I am not found out. As long as nobody knows I'm illegally living in a garage.
Wait, there's a problem. A speed bump. A rather large one. The hump is way too difficult for my chair to handle. I would capsize. In an instant. Escape … aborted.
So I doubled back and try to take a different route, adjacent to the mailbox area, and then around the swimming pool. The sidewalk is narrow as heck, so yes indeed, a new perilous journey for yours truly. With hard angles and a notable drop off to my right, I downshift. Not for real, my downshifting is figurative, of course.
At the end of the sidewalk path I arrive at the pavement junction, once again. But there's no handicapped ramp, or declining depression that leads to the street. A veritable cliff prevents me from continuing. This complex is not very wheelchair accessible.
Am I stuck here? Am I imprisoned on this property? Heck, I thought I'd be attaining a fair amount of freedom, and now this. It's as though I am surrounded by an imaginary moat.
I laugh out loud, because who wouldn't?
Now I'm doubling back. I am a mouse in a maze frantically looking for my dairy-free chunk of cheese. Yes, that's what I feel like - escape, and a need for cheese!
Paydirt is Elusive.
There's one option left - the only path not yet chosen. Yes, there's a long sidewalk run around the back side of the units, a sidewalk that parallels the green space, the place where everybody let's their dogs poop, which is also the place where they don't clean up after they're pooping puppies. At least, that's the way it was in the olden days.
And then after two final hairpin turns, there I am. I finally found a way out. An escape route. Wheelchair handicap disabled person access!
My next obstacle is the gate. Yes, I live in a gated community. That means I'm surrounded by gates, opening and closing all the livelong day. The problem being, I cannot trigger the gate because I do not have a triggering mechanism. I have to wait for vehicles to exit and then follow them. Tailgate them outta here.
I could possibly maybe leave the property through a pedestrian gate, but the gate is wrought iron metal and heavy as heck. It would be very difficult for me to unlock the gate while also full-forcing it open.
Luckily, I don't have to wait long. Three cars line up at the gate, ready to exit the property, and soon thereafter the gates open. I briefly wait, then follow them along the cobblestone exit way.
The road is paved with bricks, so is that the same as cobblestone? I mean, they're pretty octagon shaped bricks, not the ugly red kind you'll find back east in northeastern Indiana, nor especially, the south side of Chicago. Davenport, Iowa? East St Louis. You catch my drift, right? Red bricks galore.
I'm heading west, riding along the main thoroughfare. Lots of traffic flying by. I need to make my way to 20th street, the side street in question.
Once I do, the peacefulness envelopes me. And soon thereafter, I'm at the park. The most local park I'll have access to. It's rather barren, and really, its presence, along with its primary purpose is to contain flood waters. Overflow. Excess. So it's really a huge huge dozens of acres wide (and long) flood water retention area.
Note: rarely have I noted measurable water within its breadth, which makes sense, living in the desert
It's also a place where I used to take my son, where we used to go for batting practice sessions. I was very ill back then. But I would pitch several buckets worth of baseballs to him, and then he'd smack the crap out of them. And then we'd have to retrieve several dozen baseballs afterwards. All over the place. Near and far.
Much due to the flatness, it seems those baseballs would roll forever and ever.
I was frequently out of breath, exhausted, having great difficulty completing the task. Then several months along, I could no longer fetch the baseballs. Instead, I sat upon the overturned bucket, tossing batting practice balls underhand. And then finally, it became too difficult to even walk from the car down the embankment to the park area. But let's not go there right now. Painful memories in painful places. I miss having a son.
There's a woman walking a dog at the far end of the park. I know she's going to come up and talk to me. They always do. Well, not always. But often. I make a good target.
So Catherine comes up and engages me. She asks me about things. I tell her things. She lives right across in the park and gives me her phone number in case I ever need any help or anything else. And it's probably a good thing that I have someone, right from the get-go. Just in case. I don't know anybody else in the neighborhood. Not anymore. I hadn't been out and about (like a real person) since 2014. Lots of things change in nine years. I mean, would anybody actually remember me in this neighborhood?
I'm back in the garage. I didn't expect it to be so warm inside. It's only 78° outside, which is absolutely wonderfully fantastic and well below normal for this time of year. But it's 85° inside the garage.
And then overnight it got down to a rather brisk 48° fahrenheit. But inside the garage? It was 80°. Heck, this garage is better insulated than the condo above me. I was thinking I'd need a parka straight off. Heavy blankets. Wool socks. A space heater. But no, none of that is necessary at all. But how about a swamp cooler? Yeah, maybe one of those. Ha!
What I am doing is leaving the garage door partially (very slightly) open. Tiny, yet full-on noticeable amounts of fresh air is subtly flowing - which makes this warmth tolerable.
So after 2 years and 27 days of nursing home living, here I am now.
I'll stop right here. It seems I'm approaching 1600 words. That's way too many. I apologize. Perhaps I will slice and dice and remove a paragraph or three making this effort less mentally strenuous.
Take care, and thank you for following along!
My Nightlight (being red and abstract)
prior to getting settled - a work in progress