"THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I !"
Cell Block - D
© - Tom Hyland - 6/12/10
People confined in a prison as a punishment for a crime, or while waiting to stand trial. Those who have been captured and are held in confinement in a place not of their own choosing. Persons who are unable to escape a situation or condition.
Those three sentences are separate definitions copied ver batim from the dictionary. The first mentions ‘crime’ - but these Prisoners did not commit any crime! It also mentions ‘trial’ - but none of them ever had a trial!
The second uses the word ‘captured’ - this is certainly true - they are captives all right! It also speaks of ‘confinement’ - also true - they are confined, or contained, or detained - and it is not their choice!
The third uses the word ‘escape’ - a miniscule number do occasionally do this for a brief time, usually a matter of minutes - on rare occasions, maybe even hours. That is, they might ‘escape’ the place or physical location for a short while, but they never have the power to leave the situation, condition, or environment!
PRISONERS - Cell Block ‘D’ - for DIMENTIA -
The Crime? Living Too Long!
They merely got OLD! ... and FEEBLE! ... and can no longer function on their own! Yes, sad - but true ! We herd them together like cattle, poor little ‘dogies’ - not young, but old, not ‘calves without mothers - orphans’ - but rather, the opposite - ‘mothers and fathers without children!’
Oh, to be sure, some do occasionally get ‘visitors’ for a few miserably-spent hours - a rare few ‘daily’ - some weekly, or monthly - some quarterly, semi-annually, or annually - or perhaps, only on ‘Holidays.’ How Quaint!
Way back in the ‘good old days’ of yesteryear, we shoved them in places called ‘Sanitariums’ - or ‘Booby-Hatches’ or even ‘Nut-Houses’ - but today, with high technology, and ‘advanced’ methods, we call them ‘Senior Homes!’ Instead of ‘Wardens’ - we have ‘Administrators.’ Instead of ‘Guards’ - we have ‘Nurses Aides.’ Instead of ‘Electro-Shock Treatment’ we have ‘MEDS!’ But, the inevitable result is the same - Capture them - Corral them - Confuse them even more with mind-blowing DRUGS - and, to be sure - Comfort them! SURE!
A regimented schedule is certainly in order - Time to get Up - Time to Bathe - Time to Eat - Time to take Meds - Three Squares a day, no less - with nothing in between - except ‘meds’ of course - kind of like, in the ‘ARMY’ - Time to Watch TV - Time to take Meds - Time to go to Bed ...
Aaaah - TV - Television - the ‘Great Baby-Sitter’ - a Sea of Faces - blank stares, or over-glazed eyes, affixed glaringly at the ‘Boob-Tube’ - That’s the Ticket! ZOMBIES? The ‘Living Dead?’ Hopeless and Hapless Humanity! How Humane!
But, Dear Friends, this is now ‘Big Business’ - a Huge, Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry ... Pharmaceutical Manufacturers are reaping in gargantuan profits from Over-Priced Drugs - Prescribed by none other than Licensed Doctors and Physicians - really Caring ones, Members of the AMA! Manufacturers of Battery-Powered ‘Scooters’ and such, along with Wheel-Chairs, Strollers, Walkers, Canes, Potty Chairs, and all other manner of ‘Prophylactics’ are having a ‘Heyday’ - the time of somebody’s or something’s greatest success, popularity, or power!
Entrepreneurs with a ‘few shekels’ and a lot of ‘Chutzpah’ - boldness coupled with supreme self-confidence, impudent rudeness, and/or lack of respect - are buying up foreclosed individual houses for a ‘song and a dance’ - renovating them, and establishing high profit center businesses, as ‘Assisted Living’ or ‘Senior Residences.’ They then ‘import’ some ‘cheap labor’ from Haiti, or Trinidad and Tobago, or any other ‘island’ or Africa even - to actually DO ALL THE WORK ... they then handle the ‘paperwork’ and government ‘hand-outs’ - DRIVE HUMMERS, CADILLAC ESCALADES, or LINCOLN SUV’s or MERCEDES, or BEAMERS ... and COUNT THE CASH from the ‘Cash-Cow!’ WHAT A COUNTRY!
PRISONERS - Cell Block ‘D’ - some are just so pitiful that it makes your heart ache - constantly walking an oval invisible path, near the ‘Entrance/Exit’ Doors - they have only one goal - ESCAPE! They must be constantly watched by the ‘guards’ - er, ah, um ... I mean ‘Aides.’ The exteriors of these ‘Prisons’ - er, ah, um ... I mean ‘Homes’ - are all Posted with signs - “Do NOT Let a Resident Out Unless He/She Has an Access Card!” Most of the doors have a Controlled Access Card Reader, that has the interrupting power to break the circuit on an Electro-Magnetically controlled Strike Plate, with a Four-Hundred-Pound Pull setting! Inside, the receptionist usually has a Button to press to allow visitors or Vendors in or out - kind of like those in JAILS!
On rare occasions, like this past Thursday, you witness a Feisty Inmate or two. This Ole Gal was ‘Four-Foot-Nothing’ and ADAMANT ... “I have to LEAVE here, I have a Meeting with ...” She was standing directly behind me, and almost made good her ‘Escape’ - but the ‘Aide’ gently caressed her arm, walked her into a ‘U-Turn’ and said: “Now, now, Miss ... it’s time for Dinner” - and gingerly ushered her back to the ‘Great Room’ or TV Baby-Sitting Lounge!
“But Tom, how could you possibly know all of this? Are you making it all up? Is this a work of Fiction?” Gim’me a Big - “HELL NO!”
I have been delivering Prescriptions for a Pharmacy now, ever since my ‘Retirement’ to enjoy my ‘Golden Years’ for over Four Years now - Three days a Week, times Fifty-One Weeks (I force myself to take off one week vacation) equals 153 Days, times 4 equals 612 Days, times an average of 6 Hours equals 3,672 Hours - invested in my JOB - and, trust me - I am an acute Observer!
I have instructed both of my adult Children, as well as a couple of close Nieces and Nephews - “If the government (State) ever takes away my License to Drive, thereby removing my Independence, then Please - Please - Please - SHOOT MY SORRY ARSE!”
PRISONER - cell Block ‘D’ ? HELL NO! NOT ME!
I CHOOSE NOT TO BE A ZOMBIE!
I’D RATHER BE ‘PUSHING UP DAISIES!’
© - TKH.