5 August 2014

“Good Morning, Chuck.”

“Good morning, Dennis. Did you hear about the big fight at the Food Court in the mall on Saturday.”

I asked, “Who was fighting?”

“The security guards were fighting with everybody.  I went over there  in the morning to have coffee with my friends. I had just come from McDonald’s. My friends were seated. I went down the hall to the bathroom. When I got back, my friends were outside. They said that they’d been thrown out. No reason was given.

“I can understand that they want to keep homeless people out, any one who falls asleep or is drunk. There are even people who lock themselves in a bathroom stall and sleep there. One woman who works in the mall was kicked out. She was just having a coffee, waiting for her boss to unlock the doors. I’m sure her boss was upset to hear that she’d been treated in such a disrespectful manner. There’s going to be an uproar at the administration offices today. I’m going to be there myself, making a complaint. If it had been back in my drinking days, I would have loved to throw those assholes through the window.

“I don’t think I’ll be going back there after today. I can barely get through the access door with my regular wheelchair. My three-wheeler would never fit. Besides that to get out I have to go to the other end of the mall. They’ve got a fancy electronic eye. To leave you just wave your hand in front of it and the doors open. When you get outside, they’ve put a plant in front of the electronic eye. You have to go in behind the plant, wave your hand and then race like hell before the door closes. Who in their right mind would put a plant in front of a wheelchair access door?

I said, “I saw Joy yesterday.”

“Oh, how is she doing?”

“She’s not very happy, a bit scared. She thinks that she has pneumonia, but they haven’t diagnosed it yet. Pneumonia, she’s had before, so she knows the symptoms, but  said it’s a lot worse than last time. She has no voice, can’t speak above a whisper. Her breathing is painful and difficult. She doesn’t like her doctor, who doesn’t seem to be giving her much information.

“Already she’s had an altercation with a roommate. Frank had brought her some chips and other snacks.  Joy was just picking at them, because she doesn’t have much appetite. The woman in the bed beside her came over and started eating her chips.”

Chuck said, “Joy wouldn’t put up with that.”

“No, she said to the woman, “If I have to get out of my bed, I’m going to smash your face in.”

Chuck said, “That sounds like Joy. It really makes you wonder how minor things can cause so much outrage. I was called to a family meeting. You’ll never guess what the big catastrophe was. One of my nieces drove the other to the hospital. The niece driving had a bag of popcorn. The other wanted some, but she said, No.”

“How old are these women?”

“In their thirties.”

I couldn’t believe it.

Chuck said, “I told them, ‘You women need to get out in the world and find out what real problems are, like fighting to get a roof over your heads and enough to eat.’  They’re the ones with money. They’ve never had a real worry in their entire pampered lives.”


  1. This man talks such sense! And he has so much to put up with too.


  2. inmycorner says:

    Wow. I am so interested in your story – and your writing. Thank you for your honesty.


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