Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wheel of Fortune

In a small nursing home in Bakersfield, Kansas a 35 yr old severely deformed, bedridden, cerebral palsy patient, Marvin watches game shows all day. His ability to speak clearly is hindered by his large, tardive-dyskinesia like tongue but when you concentrate you realize that he answers almost every question correctly. He has the most large, beautiful expressive green eyes in the most frightening, twitching,
convulsive, grotesque body. His roomate is Maurice, a forty year old Down's Syndrome patient who looks like Humpty-Dumpty. He wears his pants pulled up way past the bellybutton and he stutters when he talks. He is not bedridden and tottles around the nursing home looking for trouble. He is obssessed with one red sock. He folds it up again and again in his drawer and rises multiple times in the middle of the night to check on it. His other hobby is clogging up the toilets with toilet paper laughing gleefuly when the water overflows. The nursing home staff make him stand in a corner with a pointy paper hat as punishment. It never stops him. In fact he thinks the whole stand-in-the-corner routine is hilarious. His roomate, Marvin becomes irritated with Maurice's sock obsession as he can't just get up and get away from his roomate's repetitive questions as he dangles the sock over him "Have you seen my red sock? Do you like my red sock" Marvin does laugh when his roomate clogs up their toilet because the degree of Mauruce's delight is infectious. Marvin has confided in me that he dreams about being Spiderman. Marvin's mother, who is nearly 90 yrs old lives in the same nursing home but in a different wing. She comes to stand silently over her son without saying a word to him. Apparently, when she delivered Marvin and would not put him in an institution, her husband left her. When his mother is standing closely by his bed they just silently hold hands. You can tell Marvin really loves his mother even if they can't communicate and watches her leave the room with a look of worry and sorrow in his eyes.
Another character in the nursing home is an alcoholic irish gentleman, Jerry, who is confined to a wheelchair, but wheels himslef all over the home, singing loud, drunken irish drinking songs. His nose is really red like a clown. He moves his arms like a conductor and belts out anywhere. He stays out of his room so much, he's like a homeless man in the building. Marvin finds him hysterical and laughs till he has tears in his eyes in response to the entertainment. There is an old Russian woman who shuffles around the halls in her slippers mummbling expletives in her native language. Another deeply disturbed 60 yr old male patient wanders the halls, clinging to the walls and daintily avoiding major portions of the floor. He sees fetus's and worries that he will step on them and harm them. He also obsessively checks out all the trashcans, dumping them out and going through each piece of trash to make sure an embryo has not accidentally fallen in. Sometimes, he sits at the front door of the nursing home and screeches at those who enter to avoid traumatizing the molecular-sized innocents.
Also an old italian man who has a bad habit of banging his private parts while young nurses are present, carefully studying their horrified response etc. The matronly administrator of the building is very peculiar herself and likes to decorate her office with lavish artworks and rugs. She carries herself like a queen and seems to demand an almost deity level of respect. This nursing home and all its colorful beings would make an award-winning movie especially if Jane Campion directed it(to be cont.)

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