In Brief—Change comes to the warehouse where the author lives.
The One Unchanging Thing in the Universe is Change—
Bengt may never run away again. He looks shrunken. He sleeps a lot. The vigor and sense of humor seems to be gone. The man I saw as active and alert now sits sleeping while lunch is prepared. His children may have been right to put him in our warehouse. His plaintive “Is this where I’m expected to die?” echoes in my head.
This is a place of concern, of anxiety, these days. Another company will take control in October. Three experienced members from the next department will be leaving in July and nobody has come forward to replace them. Rumors abound. The pay is said to be lousy and people don’t want to work in elder care because of the responsibility and,,,well-l-l, old folks are hard to care for, particularly the demented.
After several days of weakness where nothingness beckoned, a bit of energy returned, so I took a walk through the next department. Once-friendly folks sat eating at new tables, none smiled and waved back, one even turned away from me. The only cheerful person—a short-timer, so to speak—was a staff member who happily reported she has only four weeks left before her departure. Change is in the wind.
As I write this, it’s a gloomy day promising rain. I look out the window past the verdant greenery of spring to see men working on a home renovation nearby. Children scamper about at the day care center across the street. What kind of world will they grow up in?
Turning my attention to the computer, I scan the fading New York Times past ubiquitous commercials of Russian women who want to meet eligible men…only to find chaos: Gays out for a night of fun are shot down in cold blood by a hater; decent cops are executed by another hater; without bothering to express condolences, an inexperienced billionaire liar takes credit for predicting the carnage; war and destruction in the Middle East; the depredation of climate change; the death of a great fighter; England on an anti-immigrant bender votes for withdrawing from a Europe that has its own problems. What kind of world are we bequeathing to the children across the street?
My wife returns from Wales after enhancing her knowledge of art. The family dog adjusts to the city after a month of living in the country free of her leash. Friends and family in the U.S. deal with sick dogs, questionable marriages, dying mothers and graduations. And here I am in the warehouse scribbling a blog and wondering if tomorrow is my last day or if my genes doom me to years more of this.
I spit in my ever-present bucket, my back hurts like hell, showering and getting dressed is more difficult, every day is much like the one before it and I sleep more than I used to. Along with this is my concern as to whether this will be my last episode of the Chronicle. Then comes the memory of my wife’s admonition, “If you can’t change the situation, change your attitude.”
Should I change my attitude while the world goes crazy?
Change is the one unchanging thing in the universe.