“Was the sunshine brighter for me, way back when?” the old woman asked the orange vinyl chair in the room. “Was life truly better before I knew what struggles I would have? There was a time when I felt light, carefree, and HAPPY!”
A nurse in green was bent over her, struggling to get all of the bedclothes, just so.
Her name tag read, “BETH.” Beth had curly hair and never bothered putting makeup on her face. Who would care in here?
“Miss Carson, are you speaking to me? 4 years I have been doing this for you, checking your bags and drips, you never saw me. Are you really speaking to me? I heard you hum a little, never speak!”
Miss Carson spoke out, “I seem to remember each day was a little dimmer as I got my years. The ‘change’ hit me early. I think I was 40 when it started. Body seemed to fight me then, the lubrication, the pain, the bad dreams caught me then.
But, that was not how I ended up wanting to stop waking, stop breathing, stop wishing. Nope. I think it was more the weight of the false wishing, and the truth of now, and the dimmer days, that just took it out of me! Death do us part my ass! I did not give up on life, life buried me in shitty dirt!”
“Well, ok then Miss Carson. Can you hear me? I am Beth, again. I don’t expect you to hear me. You remind me of my Aunt Brenda. Just like you, she could be quiet for a long time, then suddenly, ‘Spring’ in her voice. I loved her Spring! The silence of Aunt Brenda weighed on me!”
Miss Carson seemed to find some energy, “I had some boys and men in my life, but I would never allow them to control me. No Madame! The ‘Head Bitch in Charge’ would rush out when a silly boy tried to turn my head. I would crush them with my truth, my anger! They held no sway on me! Silly, little boys! Not worth my time!”
Beth was taken back by this exchange and seemed to need to think about it. Miss Carson was one of her easier ones. No family, no stress, little struggle.
Beth finally said, “Miss Carson? Boys and Men were not your enemies you know? It is not the gender that sets up our fights. It is our place in life, our personal demons?”
The old woman seemed to have heard this, “Well, Hell! If it ain’t my way, it is NO WAY! No man could ever bow me. Compromise meant I lost. Never would I lose!”
Beth stood back, savored and considered a life of conflict and anger fed from Miss Carson.
She knew that at 5:45 am when she got off, she had a little girl and puppy waiting on her to drive that old Chevy home.
Beth knew that she would turn the key and drive away, leaving Miss Carson’s words, hoping that the light she saw was just as bright as yesterday, knowing this time of year, the rising sun would be in her face.
She determined right then, that the “Bitch in Charge” would not turn the key, drive I 30 East, then I95 Noth, turn into Formosa Circles, nor open the door on room 231.
The Head Bitch in Charge was alone, having spent a lifetime destroying all the lovies around her.
The Head Bitch in Charge had her surrenders, her wins, none held her, none mourned her.
Yet, Beth was there to help! Thank God, Beth never wanted to be the HBiCharge!