The other day New York City released almost a million debts because the collection agencies couldn’t show the back paperwork telling the history of the debt or if in fact money was really owed.
Like I would buy a subscription to Car & Driver? I paid the $47 I turned out to “owe” because it was worth it to me to make the phone calls stop.
And I have a blog. I don’t get mad. I do get even. I’m very proud of my Allied Interstate page
I don’t know how many comments there are in the page and two posts, but they make for much interesting reading than the actual post. All comments, rants etc about Allied belong in that page
The words come from Bone.
“I’m the wanderer, yeah the wanderer.”
Dion had been popular when Delilah was a little girl, now he was popular again. She had been too young to think him cute or sexy then. Later he didn’t have long hair. During the late 60’s, or early 70’s he had reemerged for a hot sec, and she thought him a joke.
Something happened in the early 80’s. She developed a secret love for early rock. Delilah’s coop was in a building that had housed some of the biggest musical stars during the 30’s. It was soundproofed so fully, a resident had been killed in the 50’s by his wife’s lover and nobody heard the screams.
Nobody could hear her singing Dion songs until she was hoarse. When she would buy early rock & roll CD’s at Tower, she would change her hair, her clothing style, her makeup and wear RayBan’s instead of her collection of vintage designer sunglasses.
Most were so old that they had become vintage. Delilah had learned years ago never to throw sunglasses away. They would come back in style within the decade at three to ten times the price.
Delilah was a clinical social worker who ran three halls for demented nursing home residents. She would constantly sing “The Wander” to herself. Most of the residents tried to leave. Rose wanted to go downtown to resume her flapper days.
As Rose worked in a sweatshop double shift before she was married, and single shift after having two sets of twins in sixteen months, Delilah envied her imagination. Delilah wished she had known what Rose had really been like. Her eight kids only knew her as a tired bitchy woman who would come home to Williamsburg and ordered them around. Most of the kids, all of the grandchildren and great grandchildren refused to see her.
Her oldest daughter, Ann, a staid Larchmont matron did the speaking for the family. She wore amazing Chanel suits during the year, and original Lily Pulitzer dresses in summer. Delilah coveted her wardrobe, and was amazed by the bitterness in her voice when talking about her mother. Ann was in her late 70’s and really should have worked past this by now.
“It’s all an act. My mother wouldn’t be nice unless she’s getting something out of it. We bended to her will every day until we escaped. I vowed when I had children, they would be treated with love and dignity.”
Delilah had lived with Ann’s youngest son, years before. None of the kids knew their grandmother, but they all suspected Ann was a rich better dressed version. Ann’s children saw her on major holidays.
She didn’t like working with people from her personal life, but nobody else in the nursing home staff saw anything wrong with it.
“Ann, we have discussed this before. Your mother’s too demented to act, or cover. Maybe she dreamed when sewing the dresses. Maybe this was the life your mother wanted. Maybe she became bitter because of her circumstances. There are too many maybes to count.”
“Delilah, you always looked for good in people. My mother had no time for dreams. That’s one thing we had in common. It’s very hard for me to think of you as a professional. You were the one who dreamed and still do.”
Ann still thought of her as a 20 year old hippie anti-war agitator with good manners. She would invite them over and always invite some single girls who looked like Richard Nixon’s daughters. Ann had never forgiven her for being the one to leave. But she knew that Ann insisted Rose be placed in this nursing home because of Delilah’s rep.
“No, Ann, I’m doing my job. I can’t make your mother well, but I can help her remain happy. That might help her stop from regressing further. It might not. We have discussed that she probably doesn’t have Alzheimer’s so we don’t know what will happen.
It was hard for Delilah to understand that Ann and her siblings had let Rose live in an apartment with a slightly retarded daughter caring for her until last year. She probably wouldn’t have been this judgmental if she didn’t know the family
If she wants to think that she was a flapper, then I think she should think that. Reality training ends when a person retreats into a fantasy. I’m not going to bring a 100 year old back to the present. She thinks we’re in the 1920’s and had no idea that 9/11 happened or that we’re in a war, that the year is 2007.
Ann, I know you want your mother not to be demented so that you can finally talk, but she is demented.”
Delilah hated the part of her job where she had to tell the families that they weren’t going to reach closure with their parent. It was their job to do, on their own.
She would normally only say that to somebody who had expressed making amends with their mother, but Ann pushed all of Delilah’s buttons. She knew Ann had no idea what guilt was, but there was always hope. Delilah’s supervisor, in supervision sessions thought that this humanized Delilah.
Delilah enjoyed Rose. She was one of the few residents who didn’t cling to her because she thought she was her granddaughter, or worse, mother. She didn’t scream for the bus to come to take her home. Rose just wanted to go to the Village, drink bootlegged liquor, dance fervently and go home with a different man every night. It sounded like a good plan.
“Delilah, I’m going to talk to your superiors. I want you off my mother’s case. You’re not a professional, and you’re aiding her.”
“Talk to them, please. I would love that.” Bitch you wanted her here because you know I’m the best.
The department director had taught Delilah to go with the fantasy. Delilah was an adjunct professor, and taught classes on working with the fantasy and life review with less demented people. The grants she had won were financing the department. Her articles were considered seminal. Sometimes when Delilah saw Ann, she had to remind herself she did possess too many degrees, certificates and awards.
On days like today she just wanted to go home, crank up the early rock, dance until she couldn’t anymore and sing until she was hoarser than hoarse. Really, she didn’t like “The Wanderer,” but she couldn’t stop singing it.
When she left her job at the nursing home, the words left her head. She does like Dion’s recent work. Age has given his voice more depth.
I passed a very lovely looking nursing home on the ocean today. It reminded me….
I would go into stores that would give teachers percentages off. I worked longer hours, many more weeks, for less money and was as educated.
But I was working in a field that dealt with old minds, not young ones. It became a very alienating experience. It shouldn’t be.