YEAR 56 : So what have I done the last week? Not much, except work my arse off till I was near collapse. They put me in charge of the whole Aged Care Facility, 4 floors, 158 old, sick and dying people, me the lone RN with a few assistants, and I had to run from floor to floor and pray no one had difficulties while I was elsewhere. It's illegal for my employers to do this, the residents pay a fortune to be there and no one knows where the money goes as it's not in the service they deserve.
One old cancer victim, who blames the world for her deterioration and abuses the nurses roundly, shat on the floor on purpose just to see me clean it up, and I chased an ancient Chinese guy around all night who wouldn't stay in bed and couldn't understand a word of English, him squalling in my face, incomprehensibly! I was in fear of him tottering to the floor, and I tried to be ever in his vicinity, ready to catch him, I'd rather he hate my presence than get a broken hip, it would be the end of him. I'm falling apart and want to retire, I'd rather stay home and paint and live on a few dollars, I don't need money that bad. It's like being stretched on the rack in the hope of pleasures to come.
Because of night shift I never get enough sleep, and my neighbors at Northcott Ghetto make as much noise as they can, just to screw me, none of them have ever had a job in their lives and don't know what it means to be tired, except for the eternal going in and out of their creaky door a hundred times a day like a cuckoo in a clock, as if that's their job, where they go and what they do defeats me, probably hunting for cigarette butts on the streets. And my next door neighbor, that monster Eric the Berserker, cackles like a howling hyena 24/7 outside my door, it echoes up the brutal edifice of Northcott like the sound effects from a horror movie and must drive the thousand tenants to distraction as it does me. I ran out with a wooden club the other night and threatened to smash his face in if he didn't stop wailing, it made him rush back into his flat and gave me a break for a few seconds.
I fantasized a murder mystery wherein his body was found in a dumpster, just his long ccrooked legs poking out, his shrunken brains spilled among the garbage. Who did it? Cursula and Bawl, hoping to squat in his manky flat and store the trash overflowing from their flat that she'd collected from the Ghetto's rubbish heaps? No, they're wrapped in their own lassitude and only have saccharine hellos for him, like he's a perfect match for their own monstrous Dr. Heckle and Mrs. Fried personalities.
Could it have been 84 year old Dolly, reduced to madness from him scrabbling like Frankenstein at her door, dribbling filth on her doorstep and cursing everyone who visits her? He'd even broken her arm once when in a paranoid frenzy. No, she's tool frail, couldn't lift his 6 foot 2 cadaverous body and is too kind a soul to think of hurting even him, her brutal nemesis. Maybe Tony the Tooth Fairy and his undertaker boyfriend Dreadful Dravid, tired of the mess Eric trails behind him, feces leaking from his trousers; cleanliness fetishists they're forever hosing down the communal veranda out front? No, as poofs they're too wimpy and girly, they love to shriek but actually hitting out is too macho for them.
Would the cops zero in on me, the most likely maniac, well-known for temper-tantrums, storming from my flat to take on whoever so that all the neighbors steer clear of me and don't dare break in to rob or rape me for they'll get their ears torn off? But I couldn't be bothered, too much trouble, I love my freedom, world travel, movies and dancing, Eric's not worth the sacrifice. Perhaps Freda the Frump, Hillsong Christian evangelist, always trying to convert the bums on the pathways, thumping her Bible, furious because Eric is too deranged to understand what's she's on about like the rest of us pagans? But she's too fat, all that whorish make-up she wears would get smeared, she'd have to drop her Bible and that she'd never do.
So who would do it, bump off Eric the Berserker Viking and give us all an early Christmas present? I know, it could be the ICE zombies, clambering down from their brick aeries to battle it out with him at the dumpsters, their personal scavenging domain. They're well known for bad mood swings, instant violence and intolerance of other rubbish sorters, and surely they must have their dazed existences disturbed just as much as the rest of us by his maniacal laughter and, once busted, they could easily be shipped off to Long Bay Gaol: they wouldn't know the difference and no one would miss them, and they'd be doing a public service for once in their tawdry lives. If only!!!!
An Holy Order of Brown Nunshas had taken Eric under their wings for the last twenty-one years and, protected by Christ, he was untouchable. No matter the shit wiped on the walls of his unit to head-height, and the rats and the cockroaches teeming, for all our begging them to do something to give us relief, like euthenaise him, they stoically brandished their rosaries and mumbled prayers. He needed a supervised hostel, that made sure he took his medication, bathed, dressed appropriately and stopped eating out of the garbage cans.
(Thank nogod he was eventually moved, after nearly destroying the building's foundations by flooding his flat continuously. But it took a lot of hissing and scratching on my part.) Since I brandished the club at him, Eric has chilled with the howling hyena act: for a few days we've had peace, glorious peace. And I've got a few hours sleep, enabling me to go back to the hospice for the dying, like going from one battle-front to another, such is life.