Daydreaming on a Tuesday

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about the average day in a nursing home from the standpoint of both the residents and the staff. It takes place in a rehabilitation department. Why? Because as far as I know, there are no stories about this. And yes, its pretty accurate.

Submitted: October 03, 2014

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Submitted: October 03, 2014

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~~Voice over: spanish guitar in the background, middle aged, hispanic, man narrating:
“In the hills of Columbia, we only harvest the best coffee beans which are hand picked by dedicated growers who have spent their entire lives cultivating the finest coffee in the world.”
"Yeah.....thats the stuff right there."
David gently held the coffee cup in his hand and savored the aroma.  Life’s too short for bad coffee.
Gazing out over the rehabilitation gym, the rows of weights and exercise balls neatly lined up in their places.  The mats cleaned and ready, the stools against the wall.  David surveys his domain.  Walking toward the door, he looks down the hall for any patients coming his way. 
“All clear,” he thinks to himself.

Meanwhile in another part of the nursing home,
Cut to scene in a movie:  Waves crashing into rocks, bombastic classical music blaring from all sides, sailors fighting to keep a sailing ship from going off course.
“OK Mr. Jessup, time to get up.”
Sophia leaned over Mr. Jessup’s bed and gently shook his shoulder.
“Get outta here!” he grumbled.
“Nope.  It’s time to rise and shine.  You don’t want to stay in bed all day do you?” she asked.
“Yes I do!”
Sophia stood up and looked unhappy.  “Why oh why couldn’t patients cooperate?” she thought.
  She had been seeing Mr. Jessup for about three weeks now and he still didn’t want to get out of bed and when he did, he would demand to go back.  The orders from the doctor specified that he get out of bed every day and stand up put weight through his broken right hip to help with the healing.  Mr. Jessup states that he will be fine if he can just get his sleep and stay in bed.  Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way and Sophia had the difficult job of trying to convince him otherwise.

“Ok how about this,” she countered.  “We will get your shirt on in bed and have you sit up and work on getting your pants on so you can eat breakfast.”
“I don’t wanna eat breakfast!”
“Why not?”
“The food tastes like crap!”
“Well let’s get your shirt on anyway and I can see what else they have to eat.”
“I don’t wanna eat!”

And so it goes around and around.

Thirty minutes later the scene in the rehab is vastly different.  Four patients are in the gym exercising with weights, another is riding a supine exercise bike and still another is standing with a walker and doing balance drills.  David is busy with the patient dong the balance drills, Gwen is encouraging the patient on the bike to move faster and Sophia and Connie are leading the exercises with weights. 
Scene from Kung-Fu:  “Master, how long should I stay on this pole?”  Young Grasshopper is standing with one leg on top of a very thin pole and straining hard to not fall down.
“As long as it takes to find the Way,” Master replies. “You will discover many things as you struggle through life and as each struggle is conquered, the more you will grow.”
“Yes Master,” responds Grasshopper as he falls down in the dirt.
Scene fades out.

“OK, now I want you to stand on one leg and hold onto this walker.” David commands.
Ms. Benson looks at him like he has lost his mind.
“Well I don’t know,” she says.
“Ah come on, it’ll be ok.”

Gwen is setting up a mat on the floor to try some patients on it.  She lies down on it and begins her demonstration.
“See how easy it is to get up?”  She says as she flows upward from the mat with the grace of a gymnast.


Later that day, Sophia is at the lunch table talking about Mr. Jessup,

"He just won't do anything!" 

David slowly sips his coffee "God damned this is good coffee!" he thinks.


"Let me take a crack at that mothertrucker”, he draws. 

 And the winner of the coffee of the year award goes to......David for his caramel blend!

"Maybe I can relate to that dude." 

“Well somebody needs to get him in gear cuz he ain't doing shit and we'll have to drop him,” remarks Gwen.

"Coffee this good should be illegal.....”

"What did you say?"

"Nothing..I got this." David promises.

Walking up to Mr, Jessup's room David spies him in bed watching tv.

"Hey there Mr, Jessup!"

“Whats up man?”

"Whatcha watching slick?”

"Just some show on fighters."

"Oh?  You like planes?  Ever flown one?"

"Nah...just worked on them in the navy."

"No shit?"

Scene in an old bar.  The old man leans back in his chair and looks at his audience.  Continuing his story he says:

“Yeah it was a hard day that day.  We were flying attack runs on the imperial star destroyer and were taking heavy losses, my navigator was killed and I was flying with no backup.  I skimmed his deflector shield too close and bounced off, but not before I released my proton torpedoes right into the command bridge and blew that sucka outta the skies.

The old man takes a sip of his drink and closes his eyes, reliving old memories from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

:”Yeah I worked on the navy scout planes and I remember being on the flight deck of the Enterprise  Even got a scar on my leg for my troubles."

"The Enterprise?  Sheeeet….. I bet that was awesome!"

"You know it man, you know it...."

The Big E slowly sails into the Pacific to get revenge for Pearl Harbor.  The sailors and aviators looking grim and determined.  The bringer of death watches from the bridge.  The war in the Pacific was on.

David looks on and says, “So…you think you could sit on the side of the bed and show me that scar on your leg?”
“Sure thing man, sure thing.”
Back in the rehab gym…………..
Ms. Benson still looked like she didn't trust what David was saying.  Her balance was off, but that didn't mean she couldn't do things.  It was just a little fall that broke her hip.  Now this young whippersnapper was asking her to stand on one leg?  The nerve of him!  Why it was just yesterday that she was dancing at the ball with that nice Mr. Whittherspoon. So handsome in that white suit.  And how he could dance!  It was breathtaking.

"Ms. Benson, can you hear me?"  David asked.
David waited patiently as Ms. Benson came back to the present.  She had taken a trip down memory lane and he hoped it was a good one. 
"You want me to do what again?" she asked.
"Stand with your right foot off the floor while holding onto this walker."
"Oh ok...like this?"
That Mr. Whittherspoon was so wonderful. 
Cut to Kung Fu: 
"Very good Grasshopper," said Master.  "You have walked the rice paper and have left no marks.  This is but a first step to achieving the Way"
"Yes Master."  Young Grasshopper answered.  Though now he was a young man, strong in the skill of shaolin kung fu.  Ready to leave and face the world.
Mr. Peterson eyed the mat with suspicion.  He was sitting in his wheelchair and had just finished a round of exercise with Gwen and was ready to go back to his room.
Now they were asking him to get down on the mat and get back up again. Why would you lie down on the floor and then get up?  It was all so confusing to him. 

Gwen sat on the mat and looked up at Mr. Peterson and waited.
"Ready to try Mr. Peterson?" she asked. 
Mr. Peterson looked doubtful.
"We will help you,” said Connie. 
Gwen and Connie moved next to him and waited.
"All right, I’ll try, " he said.
"OK then.  Stand up and turn around."  Gwen said.
He did as he was told.  Gently they lowered him down to the mat and Gwen sat next to him and Connie stood on the other side.
"Now I want you to move your arms and legs and see if anything is broken,” Gwen stated.
"What?" he asked.  “Now I have broken arms and legs.  What kind of place is this?”
"Silly.  You are just checking to see if anything is broken after you have fallen.  We don't want you to get up if something is broken. If that happens you should call the ambulance.”  Gwen explained.
Mr. Peterson shook his arms and legs like an upended bug.
"Like this?" he asked.
"Yes.  Just like that," Gwen replied. 
"Hello?  Anybody home?" a voice asked from the doorway.
""Mrs. C!"  David cried.
Ahhhhh sheeet.  Time for this party to get started.  Its time for the SSSSoooouuullll  Train!!!!!  Climb aboard for the funkiest hour on television as we get your booty shakin' and your hips quakin'
David had few loves in his life but Mrs C was one of them.  He rushed over to her and gave her a hug and a huge smile. 
On David’s first day at the nursing home, he was walking down the halls looking for rehab and Mrs. C intercepted him and asked him what the hell he was doing and could he help her escape this crazy place. David looked at her like she had lost her mind.  She looked at him like he had lost his.  It was a marriage made in heaven and they had been buddies ever since. 
No one could quite remember why Mrs. C was in the nursing home.  It seemed like she had always been there.  She spent her days rolling around in her wheelchair and visiting with a few select staff members and residents. 

David had asked once about her and all he could find out was that she was 83 years old, had lived in the next county over and had worked in an oyster factory. 
After they had met, she came down every morning for a cup of David's coffee ( winner of the coffee of the year ten years straight.)
"Hey Mrs C!" shouted Gwen and Connie.
"Hello to you too," she said.
She wheeled herself over to her favorite spot to watch the day's events. Sophia came over and asked her what she wanted in her coffee.
""She takes it straight, slick.  I know my women." David bragged. 
Sophia gave him a "Whatevah!" look and went back to her patients.
Sophia being the new girl on the block didn't know quite what to make of Mrs. C but gave her, her due.  David was very protective of her.  Gwen and Connie seemed to like her as well.  David wheeled a table over to her and handed her a cup of coffee and a napkin. 
Gwen and Connie turned back to Mr. Peterson and continued the demonstration of how to get up off the floor. 
"These old bones ain't gonna move fast you know," he remarked.
"That’s ok, we have all the time in the world,” Connie said.
"I don't," Mrs. C quipped.
"Mrs. C!  You bad girl," Gwen said.
David smiled and nodded.  "Yes, that’s my girl," he thought.
Cut to a scene in Paris at an outdoor cafe.  A beautiful woman in her early 30s in sitting at a table sipping expresso in the sun. 
"So....what’s an urbane, sophisticate like yourself doing in a run down rat hole like this?" 
she looked up and saw a smiling young man in a stylish suit.
"I would hardly call Paris a rat hole mister…..?" she inquired.
"Mr. Suave at your service," he answered.
"Mr. Suave.  Right, like that’s original."
Later Mrs. C wheeled herself out of the rehab gym and down the hall on an errand that only she know about.  David watched her go, sending good vibes her way to protect her from harm. 
Mr. Peterson had risen from the floor once and felt like he had risen from the dead instead.  Gwen and Connie were busy getting everyone else ready to walk in the hallway.  Sophia gathered some equipment to take to patients' rooms and do some activities of daily living, or ADLs as we say in the industry.  Ms. Benson had finally found the Way while balancing on one leg with a walker close by.
Cut to a scene from MASH.  Two doctors walk outside the surgical tent and sit down on the steps.
"It was a good day today," says one.
"Yep, it was," replies the other.
One doctor reached inside his jacket and pulls out a joint.
"Wanna hit?" he asks.
"Sure do my man!"
Scene fades as the two doctors exchange hits on the joint and relax.  Big smiles on their faces. 
Cut to a scene outside the nursing home.  Mrs C is sitting outside the side entrance, others are around her talking and enjoying the sunshine.  David walks out and looks at Mrs C and gives her a nob and a wink.  Mrs C looks back and nods “yes”. 
David grabs the handles of the wheelchair and starts laughing and shouting. 
“We’re bustin’ outta this prison and we ain’t never coming back!” he yells.
“Fuck yeah!” adds Mrs C. 
They run down the driveway laughing and smiling as a ska soundtrack plays in the background.  The camera slowly pulls back over the town, the state, the country and finally planet Earth.  Then sharply wheels around and we see David and Mrs C running through space and the soundtrack fades out.


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Daydreaming on a Tuesday

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