Being On the Inside

The morning sun shines profusely on the trees out back, looking out to the west from the one broad window in my suite. The window looks out in the direction of Virginia Wesleyan College down the street, as I sit cooped up in my suite for another day of quarantine. I can’t actually see the campus from this vantage point, but I do know it’s there. It’s a little farther down the street. I imagine I’d be interested in at least going to look at the campus if I were younger, but I’m not, now. My hip hurts me too much to do that much walking, and I don’t drive at all anymore. I’ve ridden down passed the college in someone else’s car from time to time, though. It’s not so far away by car, but it might as well be the moon, as far as me taking an excursion down there on my own. Maybe when I get a motorized wheelchair sometime in the vague, distant future, I’ll be able to go down that way and look around a little bit. I’m not going on foot, though. No way. From the way it looks from the road, the campus is all flat ground. Appalachian State, down in North Carolina where I used to go when I was young, was all hills and mountains. I don’t know much of anything else about VWC, except that there’s a couple of playing fields on either side of Wesleyan Drive down there.

It’s been the better part of a week since we’ve been out of our suites much around here. One evening I was so hungry – not to mention how cooped up I felt – I rebelled and went down the elevator to the break room, come hell or high water, to get a package of wafers to eat, out of the vending machine down there. I’m tempted to skip my meeting tonight, but I think it would be foolish of me to do that to myself. I desperately need to get out of here for awhile.

I’ve decided that I’m going to stop complaining about having to go to the dining room for meals, after all this extended, mandatory confinement. This whole week we’ve all been kept in our individual suites, for the sake of cutting down on the spread of contagion. They’re trying awfully hard to stamp out a virus that’s been going around and around all week. I thought I had it the one day, but it cleared up pretty quickly, in my case, with only minor symptoms. I don’t really know whether I had the bug or not. The nurse took a stool sample from me, so I guess she knows whether I had the bug or not, but she’s not particularly talking to me, since she did the lab work.

The nurse that I thought I had a connection with, who worked around here, gave me her email address after the evacuation we went thru last summer, to escape the big hurricane that was coming. She up and left the place after we got back, whether she got fired or resigned. I don’t know which. I still get a lot of notices that she’s playing the games on Facebook. It looks to me like she’s lost enough now that she’s lost her job, that she’s wasting her time playing computer games. That evacuation caused a lot of trouble around here last summer, looks like to me. There were so many staff people who moved on after that little fiasco. We were all told they resigned, but Corporate descended on the scene, and heads did roll. I just don’t know about the Corporate end of things with assisted living in general. They can get awfully touchy about certain things that go on around the house. I hope they don’t focus in on me too much, like they did up north at the other place.

The skies overhead are a rich, deep blue today. It’s a perfectly beautiful winter’s day out. I wonder how cold it is? I keep looking out to the west from the second floor, where my suite sits at the back of the building. Behind my suite is the main drainage pond, which is some kind of government required arrangement in most construction sites these days, for some reason or other. Then there is the little copse of woods there beyond the drainage pond. One needs to suffice themselves with however much nature they can find around home, these days. The pond is surrounded by a tall wooden fence, where it’s easy to see how wet the planks get, to ascertain whether it’s been raining on bleak days. But that wouldn’t be today. Today is a thing of sunshiny beauty. It’s that little copse of trees out back that are aflame with sunlight this morning. One has a nice little collection of conifers and deciduous trees to look at from inside my quarters. The deciduous trees have mostly lost their foliage by this late date in the year. One can see the traffic thru the trees on Wesleyan Drive, as well as seeing the turning traffic on the side street behind us, if one watches carefully enough.

I don’t know what I’ll ever do to be able to see the wild things in nature anymore, now that I don’t drive anymore. There was the day and time I used to see a lot of deer when I was driving late at night. I used to really enjoy riding around in the country when I was living up in Maryland, but now that I’m down here in Virginia, it seems like there’s no country, just a whole lot of city I get to see once in a great while, whenever I can get out of the house to go see it. Most of the time I sit in the house, whether here or downstairs.

Once again, we’re all captive in our own little suites for the day, like it or not. I wish they’d let us loose. We are all still quarantined here at the great Brighton Dam Apartments, but I was told this morning that I can go out to my meeting tonight if I want to. It’s just that my friend who drives me can’t come into the building. I’m certain he and I can hook up, though. I’ll call him later today, after I’ve tried to eat whatever farce of a meal they offer me.

Come to think of it, my housekeeper said he was coming to clean my room this morning, but I haven’t seen him yet, and here it is noon. Well, and speak of the devil… just kidding. My housekeeper and his helper showed up just as I found out that I’m not really interested in the meal they brought me.

I figure some holiday visitor must have brought the virus into our environment here, whether they were aware of having the bug themselves or not. It’s the one thing we’re all having to ward off so strenuously now, with all these days of confinement to our suites. It’s that same intestinal virus we’ve all been struggling against all week. Things were fine until we got all the Christmas visitors. Then it hit us like a sledge hammer. Some child, or dirtball, or somebody, brought the bug into the place for all of us to have to suffer with it. We’ve all been captive ever since, sick or not. One can’t just tell the world that the families of residents can’t come visit on major holidays, unless there’s some kind of epidemic going on, like there is now. I guess they don’t mind telling families to stay away with a third of the census of the place down with the trots.

The girls brought me a wealth of soft foods for breakfast, which I could scarcely eat. I’m just not all that hungry in the morning. I would have squirreled the food away in my frig, had I had a microwave to heat it up with in here, but my microwave is another one of those things that’s gone with the wind. What’s worse is that I’ll probably be hard up for some soft foods later in the day, even though I’ve made such an emphatic point of needing all my foods to be soft, because of my lack of teeth. The corned beef hash and home fries have been sitting like a brick on my stomach all morning. Sure, I could get the food to go down easily enough, without choking on it, but I won’t have my permanent teeth until the second week of next month. All this business with losing my teeth is such a nuisance. I’ve been gaining weight, though. It’s not like I’m starving.


About geostan51

I'm a wordsmith and a craftsman. I've been known to hand crochet just about anything escept granny squares. I've got about twenty titles in my name on the Kindle Store at
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