Saturday, September 7, 2013

7 september 2013
12:30 PM

Thoughts on the thoroughness of caring for others
sometimes it can be carried too far

I think I am going to survive the headache I began the day with. Its kind of sad to think that what I am growing used to beginning the day with as a bodily disfunction, and one that lingers so long and makes itself known to me whether I want to be reminded or not, is becoming standard. Time was when I awoke to someone next to me in bed, later that grew into more of a chore. Then there were various dogs who upon my waking would nuzzle my hand eager that I was finally awake and available to play with them. Sadly even the best dogs don't last long enough. What I have now is a narrow bed, in which I am the only one around, AND a headache to boot.

I just finished lunch, or should I say the noon meal. Lunch has a little more elegant sound that what is served here. Many times the quality that I have learned to associate with certain words, nouns in particular, are suggestive of a wholly different tone or character than what is presented. This reminds me of a sales job where someone is trying to up-sell something to be accepted for more than it actually is.

Lunch is say a club sandwich served with a side order of soup and an iced tea or lemonade in a cafe, or if dining at home a tube steak served with a pile of potato chips and some grapes or an orange – with the peel still affixed. Not here though. We are treated to something delivered on a cafeteria tray and the finest in unbreakable plastic ware in the most unappealing gray-green color, I suppose this has been chosen so the kitchen staff can break into the occasional impromptu intramural rugby match should it come up.

The meals are often served with a dome of the same gray-green plastic covering the plate. I suppose this is to keep the food beneath warm, although that rarely happens. The route from the kitchen to my bedside is long and arduous, the food, if it was once hot, arrives politely tepid. Or maybe it is a cover to keep stray hairs and other airborne detritus off the food. That could be it. Sometimes that cover appears like some strange hard shelled entity in the act of having coitus with the plate beneath, although I can't imagine anything coming from the kitchen that would be that attractive. After the meal I have often had the desire to fling it across the room like a frisbee, its aerodynamic aspects do seem appealing in that respect.

As you can see the noon feeding is to be considered more along the lines of calorie loading than actual food. Its better that way.

I have given up the notion of ever having a good cup of tea again. It has been my experience in both of the nursing homes I have been in that the idea once you enter the gates, is that never again will a good cup of tea ever be able to cross lips in these facilities ever again. No exceptions, period. I don't know why so vehement a hatred for tea, could it be a vestige from revolutionary times? Come on folks get over it. King George is long gone now. The intense emotion of dislike is so great that in both facilities the microwave ovens have been removed. I have offered to purchase a kuerig style coffee and tea appliance, no dice. I am even told that the State has declared that fines will be handed out for even having such possibilities of creating overly warm water available.

Amazing! I used to make tea and coffee at my house all the time, the State never came skulking around my door then, concerned about my hot liquid imbibing practices at that time. Apparently the State has put such fear and loathing into these facilities with their concern for hot water that I haven't had what one would call a hot shower yet. Good thing my former wife isn't living here. She would take such a long and hot shower that the only way she figured she was done was when the hotwater tank ran low on hot water, the steam would no longer fill the bathroom and the mirror was clear and dry. Around here the CENA staff apologize for the lack of hot water as they adjust the temperature before slipping me in the shower. That's all right I tell them, at least its warmer than the snowmelt we used to have for bathing when I was backpacking in the Rockies of Wyoming.

To their credit they do serve hot warm water here for the purpose of making tea. However if this is for credit I would assign a D-minus as the water is barely tepid, for brewing good tea the water needs to be just beneath boiling. Dunking a teabag in the “hot” water they serve here will only create brown stained water. The water is not hot enough to release the flavonoids contained in the tea leaves. A complete waste of time and good tea leaves. Imagine a young tea plant growing its leaves in the open air somewhere across the world, to make the best tasting tea possible. All of the effort to collect sunlight, pull supporting elements from the ground, being picked, carried, and dried carefully, packed with equal care, shipped around the world just to have some tin pants legislator decide that he and a few others are going to make a law, because they can, regarding the legality of how some people will be deemed able to appreciate their hot beverage of choice. How arrogant! How over bearing. How rude. Welcome to the Nanny state.

Don't worry, it will be here for you too, waiting to take your choices away and give you nothing choices in return. Enjoy your tea and coffee now for here they are just a distant memory. I remember pouring the HOT water fresh from the tea kettle, recently boiling, into the borosilicate glass mug. Watching the tea staining the water with dark swirls trailing from the teabag under water like so much smoke within the mug. The entire container growing darker as the tea steeped. The anticipation growing to appreciate the nectar of some fresh tea. Except that, what I can dredge up are visual images but not any sense of taste or smell that I recall.

What I wouldn't give for a cup of Lapsang Souchong with a little honey, or some Dargeeling with spice and orange peel.

I just love being cared for according to some one else's standards. Like yet one more step toward having the very last vestiges of my humanity smothered away. Can you hear the sarcasm dripping from my voice?

I can almost taste it

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