Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I am interviewing potential new caregivers to work on the unit. I tend to look for nice -- willing to teach the rest. But sometimes nice just isn't there, and sometimes nice is all there is. Like today. Her name was Bellaria. Nice name, huh? She was nice. A volunteer eucharist minister in her spare time when she wasn't caring for her dying parents. Now I'm not sure what a eucharist minister is or does, but it sounds nice. Selfless. A value that I deny, personally. I mean, if you are being a minister of any kind to preserve your mortal soul, I dont' think you can really set all of that down to altruism. Not even a little bit of it. That being said, she was very very nice. She looked like a mexican postcard of the freakin' madonna.

So you can probably tell by the direction of this story that it ends poorly. My caustic wit won't go unnoticed. Its a giveaway. I don't care. I'm not trying to be opaque, here. And don't go licking your chops thinking she was some kind of wolf in a lamb suit. Like I said... she was nice. So I interviewed her for a fucking hour. A fucking hour of my precious time. I told her everything I've ever known about Alzheimer's (which, if I can tell you in an hour, ain't much). And then, just when I'm ready to close the deal, offer her the job, she says what so many say prior to one of two things: an outright lie or a dealbreaker.


She says, "I have to be perfectly honest with you."

I pause, wonder to myself which will it be? lie/dealbreaker--dealbreaker/lie as I look upon the mother of Christ in her radiant latino-ness, and wait for the sword (that has been hanging over my head, I just hadn't seen it prior to this very moment) to fall, and I wait.

She goes on to explain the depth of her honesty, why it is so important to her, how she has come to a point in her life where relationships, even one that is only an hour old, matters more to her than money --and suddenly I feel like I'm talking to a drug addict who is helping me look for the wallet she only just now stole from me--

But in the end it isn't like that at all. It is much more superficial than that. She says: "I really can't stand dealing with bodily fluids."

You're laughing. I can hear you from my garret window.

I was banking on this chick. She was Christmas morning.

So I take a deep breath (all the better to blow her off) and try to explain in my nicest possible voice--because dammit I'm nice too--that if you're considering even the barest of an avocation among the elderly HONEY you'd best plan on being at least knee deep in shit.

Of course I didn't really say it like that. Of course not. I wouldn't do that.

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