This is the start of my third attempt at national novel writing month, where I try to crank out 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. That's an average of 1666.66 or something words a day for the next 30 days. After that, the month of November that is, I'm going to switch the focus of the blog to my bike commuting. I just can't write about life at school, not without burning every bridge and pissing off every colleague and then some. Maybe if I was anonymous, like Bitch Ph.D. or something, or Confessions of a Community College Dean. I'm assuming both are anonymous, but who knows. And just so you know, I'm not the person who is at the center of this novel, real or imagined. Anyway, here's the first installment of the novel:
If this bed was more comfortable, I probably wouldn’t mind being laid up in the hospital, but the bed isn’t comfortable, so I mind it. Plus, the nurses, especially the darky, they keep prodding and poking me. I don’t like it when that darky touches me, pinches my skin to stick in a needle, grabs my arm to wrap the blood pressure cuff around it.. The other nurses are okay, at least the registered nurses, but their helpers, NACs they call them, seem like a bunch of daft idiots. That’s what the darky is, a NAC. Guess she’s not smart enough to be a real nurse. Figures.
Laying in this bed with a busted hip is hard on an old man like myself. If that damn Bob, shithead of a neighbor hadn’t been badgering me and the Junior to get the house repaired, none of this would have happened. We got it painted, and put a new roof on, but that wasn’t good enough for him. He wanted the yard cleaned up, my scaffolds taken down, and the porch fixed too. I don’t know why he gives a damn about my house, but if we weren’t working so hard to make him happy, spending money I don’t have or don’t want to spend on the house, none of this would have happened. Pisses me off. If I wasn’t laid up with this hip, I’d knock on his door and spit in his face. But the other neighbors like me, so maybe I ought not get too mad at the one. He’ll get his in due time, in due time.
I broke the hip when I fell carrying some of the timber from the yard. The city told us we had to clean it up, so the Junior, Hank Jr., brought his truck and we started loading it up. For being over 80, I was pulling my weight, hauling the wood and humping it up into the truck bed. Just like being a kid on the farm, bringing in the wheat and hay. Then I slipped, or something, and fell on my hip. It hurt like hell, still does even while I’m laid up here in the hospital. Now I’m going to have to pay for that too, along with the house getting fixed. Junior will have to do the work without me for now. He’ll do okay, won’t mess it up too much, even though it took him four months to get the new roof on. After that, he got up a head of steam and painted most of the house a nice, new white. I like the white, nice and clean and pure looking. He’s planning on having the whole thing done up nice by the spring. If it weren’t for this busted hip of mine, it might have been done in the next few weeks, but not now. Not with me laid up in the hospital.
Another reason I hate this hospital is all the Jew doctors. Seems like everyone of them is a Jew, even in this Cath’lic hospital. I don’t know why so many of them come to be doctors. I guess to lord it over folks like me when we get hurt. They’re getting back at us for that so-called holocaust business. I’ve never believed that crap about Hitler trying to wipe them out during that war. Bunch of crap. But when they come in, I just smile and answer their questions, not wanting to know what I think of that business. The way they work with the Cath’lics makes me think them and the Pope are in this together, telling their stories to make the rest of us feel guilty, like it was our fault or something. Fuck them. Fuck all of them. I never had a good thought about them Jews or Cath’lics, and that’s how it should be with that group of bloodsuckers.
That fucking Bob is a Cath’lic, teaching at that Cath’lic university. Probably teaching religion or something, some shit about that anti-Christ Pope of his to them dumb students. It was him who called the city about the house, saying we had to get it fixed up, painted, put a new roof on because it was attracting troublemakers to the neighborhood. He’s the fucking troublemaker. We was getting on just fine before he started poking his nose into our business. I’d been living in the neighborhood since before he was born, since before it was a neighborhood. He thinks that living here, living across the street from us for 20 years gives him the right to poke into our business, thinking he can make everyone in the neighborhood do his bidding. Son of a bitch needs to mind his own business.
But it’s too late for that. The city’s involved and telling us what to do. First they told us to fix the roof and we did that, but like I said, that wasn’t good enough for them or fucking Bob across the street. They were complaining about the tarps we had covering the leaks, keeping out the rain and melting snow. I gotta admit Junior did a good job and the new roof looks fine. Almost makes me wonder why we waited so long. Then he told me how much he had to spend and I understood. I don’t like spending money when I don’t have to, but this time I had to if I was gonna get those people off my back.
After that they wanted us to paint the house. It needed it, kinda anyway, so we did that too. First the boy and some of his work crew scraped away the old slough and sprayed on some clean, white paint. It looks pretty good. At least the parts that were painted. The porch needs shoring up, so that didn’t get painted. Junior, the boy, he’s getting ready to put some concrete footings in to hold up the porch. Even got some rebar laid down and framed in before I busted my hip. I’m guessing that stuff’s just sitting there now that I’m laid up. As good as the boy can be, if I’m not there telling him what to do, ain’t nothing gonna happen.
Problem is that Bob’s smart, cunning anyway. Somehow he found out that we hadn’t paid some taxes, that the city had put a lien on the house. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna pay them for something I don’t use. We were grandfathered in when they put in the sewers back in the 1950s because we didn’t want their water. We got a well and it draws fine. Just because I’m giving them water back through the toilet and drain, they want me to pay for the sewer. They should be thanking me for the free water I put into their system before they clean up the shit and dump it back in the river.. And I haven’t had them pick up my garbage ever. Just burn it in the furnace. Heats the house at the same time. But that Bob went and dug all this up even though its none of his fucking business. Had to go and stick his nose into our business. Fucking Cath’lics.
He’s also been complaining about the yard to the city and because of that, the city drug us into some meetings, putting timetables on us. They keep telling us to come up with a plan and a schedule so they can approve it. But those city officials is a bunch of idiots. All we gotta do is say we’ll do what we can, then do something, and then they call us into another meeting, and we go through the dance again. Maybe they get us to do some work, but on our schedule, not theirs. They cant tell the Purce family what to do, not as long as I can have my say. Ah, that fucking nurse's aid, whatever the hell she is, is coming back. Damn.
“Good morning Mr. Purce. I’m just hear to check your vitals. How are you today? I’ll just push cart around the side of your bed so I can get to your arm for your blood pressure and to take your temp.”
“Doing alright I guess. Hip’s kinda hurting. How come you gotta keep coming in so often to squeeze my arm with that thing? Don’t seem my blood pressure should go up and down that much in a few hours.”
“We just want to make sure you’re doing okay Mr. Purce. Let me have that arm so I can wrap this around and see how you’re doing. Gotta take your temperature too.”
I didn’t like that damn probe stuck in my mouth, or that clamp on my thumb, to check my heart, but what can I say. If I make a fuss about that darky touching me, no telling what might happen. God, she makes my skin crawl. Thank God she don’t touch that cover for the probe, just sticks the probe in the box and takes out a cover and stuffs it under my tongue. Then she plops it straight into the garbage bag on her cart.
“Ninety-seven point eight,” she says as she pulls the thermometer out. “Blood pressure and heart are looking good too” she says while writing the information down on a sheet of paper. “Is there anything I can do for you before I head out?”
“No,” I said. “No thanks.” I couldn’t wait for her to get out of the room, to breath again once her fat ass pushed that cart into the hall, having pulled the drape around the bed so I could have some privacy, not having all those nurses and others looking in and wondering who’s that old man in there and what’s wrong with him. Thank God I was in a private room, though I don’t know why. I don’t have any insurance. I couldn’t stand having someone else’s family and friends traipsing in and out of here, getting in my way, interrupting what little sleep you can get in this place. I guess the boy must have talked to them about paying cash. Don’t know where he’ll get it, not from me, that’s for sure. I’m not giving him a penny. It’s his fault I’m in here. I would have just as soon let the house alone rather than spending all that time and money on it. It’ll outlast me no matter.