The VA is a place of healing but a healing that is part transcendence and part acquiescence. A kind of home to the many homeless and/or hurting. Like an old military training film, the memories of soldiers are rekindled, with the ebbing of the time and tide and the constant changes that slowly and almost imperceptibly evolve.
Sitting in chairs lined up like eggs the shiny floors and a plethora of young people with a whole lot more than you in their lives talk loud and authoritatively. Nurse Cratchett with her Ben Casey cap mulls over the scene keeping it as quiet as she can with a prescription in hand and whispering where to go next. There is order here, and signs telling you what you should do as and where you should do them. Part suggestion and part demand…. you comply.
What I see is a bunch of old, white men/women constantly berating the President. Don’t believe me…check out Fox News’ viewing demographics….You guys seem to fit right in their target demo. Face the fact that your generation is dying off and being replaced with multiracial, non-religious, informed citizens that don’t buy the corporate bull shit anymore. Thank you all for your service, but it’s time to give up on your 50s “Leave it to Beaver” dream world and accept that America is changing.
(And this was from a military site and a part of my point in this blog)
Shuffling past the new partitions and faded drapes you humbly canter onward to a room to wait some more. Then the eager young doctor rolls into the room, inquiring about what brought you there that day. Like he doesn’t already know. His intentions are generally good and his allocation of time is ten words and a prescription(s). Back in your chair you wait. The minutes tick laboriously on with black and white clocks making their rounds in your head. And you feel like a bursting dam full of still water. The coldness of put-out caregivers with dissembling glances stare obtusely at you.
You are whisked away in rubber chariots with the air-conditioner breaking the disturbing silence that has long been established. Only so many retold stories can they bear and what they show to their friends is markedly different than what you experience. The tar on the road causes a clicking and thudding as tires roll and roll and roll and you fall fast asleep.
At home there there are no cupboards, just a chair, a bed and perhaps a TV. The walls are yellow and gray brick, the mortar hardened like the souls of man. The ceiling fan in steed of a dream whirring and whirling and the tick, tick, tick of an electric chain. Bound to reflection you start to complain but feel the potential sting or words, those silent statues in an antiquated museum. Their only destiny an auction or the city dump.
The plain yellow curtains burp and rustle against the warm walls as the A/C is clicked on and you fall asleep and you faintly hear the sound of doors and the rustling of tires on hot gravel. Magical cupboards are laden with product, generic brands of what you used to consume and settle on mashed potatoes and country cream corn, as much due to chewing as it is to satiation.
Pretty soon your cat or cats or maybe a dog gather up with you, finding a place to call their own and that is the closest you had that day to affection, non-contrived and totally about you! Yet the emotional give and take is the soft mortar which has not nor will ever harden until the by and by.