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Monday, April 25, 2011

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 6 Leaving Home

The next morning I wake up. Vinny is still snoring. Someone is walking through the house banging on doors. I can hear a flurry of activity, including doors being opened and slammed. There is a lot of noise but Vinny is still sound asleep, still snoring away. I don’t know what to do or where to go. I slip out of bed, throw on my jeans and slip into the hallway.
In the hallway a small hippie looking woman wearing thick glasses and Birkenstock sandals is standing outside of the bathroom door on the landing. “You have 4 more minutes,” she is yelling to whoever is in the shower. I can hear the water running.
I start to slide past her and she looks up at me stopping me. “Lorraine,” she says extending her hand. I reach out my hand and grasp hers. “You must be Geoff,” she says as she looks into my eyes. “Laroy told me all about you.” Her hands are rough and slightly cold. She leans closer to me. “Also don’t worry about Vinny, he means you no harm.”  I can tell from her look that she is trying to communicate that everyone here has problems. I nod my acknowledgement to what she has said and head down the stairs.
What was a quiet place last night is now a beehive of activity. There are about 15 people running around. Everyone seems to have a task. Some are cooking breakfast and getting the resident kids on their way to school, others are moving in and out of the office. Across from the office is the telephone we are allowed to use. Sherry is sitting there on the phone, silently using the pick on her hair. She looks up at me smiles and mouths the words “court today.”
 I walk to the end of the hallway and into the kitchen. There food is laid out cafeteria style. It seems to be massive pans of pancakes, eggs, bacon and oatmeal. People swarm around me on their way to whatever they are doing. Everyone who passes reaches out a hand, rubbing my back, touching my arm or the occasional hug. There are so many staff members and so many names to learn. My head is spinning.
I walk in to the dining room. Jay T. Tucker is happily gobbling down a stack of pancakes. He looks up at me. “Jay T. Tucker is a mean mother fucker,” I say. He laughs and a gob of pancake lands on his chin. I am now more convinced than ever that he is retarded.
Lorraine walks up behind me, wraps her arm around my neck. “Your social worker just got here.” “You will not go to school today but meet with her.” “We will call the school and let them know where you are.” “Grab some food and a seat,” she gently pushes me in the way of the food.
Walking back into the kitchen, I grab a plate and put a pancake and some egg onto it. Grab a coffee and head back into the dining room. Christine has now joined Jay T. she looks up at me and quickly looks back down to the torn up paper napkin in front of her. As I sit down, she gets up and storms out of the room.

To be continued………….

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writting "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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