My poem about the contentious meeting between the residents and the new food service here at the continuum care campus has earned me my very own nickname. Isn’t that ironic considering I’ve spent the last ten months giving my fellow residents nicknames to give them a layer of privacy should my blog ever become public knowledge. For several days I heard “Here comes our Poet Laureate” when ever I’d approach a gathering of people. I’ll have to admit it feels good to not have to hide one of my main passions in life…writing. And I think I started something. I was talking to man here who said he thought he’d be writing a lot when he retired and he wants to try his hand at poetry but he hasn’t written a single word since moving here, so the next thing I know I’m suggesting we start a creative writing group on campus. We’ll only need five or six people and we’ve heard a rumor there is another man here who is hold up in his apartment working on a book. The Enrichment Director has given us a time slot on the monthly calendar and we'll have our first 'cattle call' in September.
Also as a result of the poem I got asked to be a part of a new “Residents Council” a committee that the ‘in crowd’ is forming that wants to plan parties, help new residents fit in and connect us all through a residents’ newsletter. They wanted me to be in charge of writing the newsletter and taking notes at committee meetings. I turned them down and three of them spent the next two days trying to badger me into changing my mind. Finally I found them a guy who does a family newsletter once a month and he agreed to do the newsletter. I told the new editor I’d submit an article from time to time if he decides to have club reporters. He lite up at the ideal of having a string of reporters under his control.
I can’t tell you on how many levels I’d hate being part of this Residents Council. One: I’m trying to be more true myself here and party planning and putting myself out there with new people is not something I’ve enjoyed doing. In fact I'd hate it. Two: I can’t take notes in committee meetings. My mild dyslexia and poor spelling gets me stuck too often and doing that in public brings up childhood feelings of being called stupid. When I’m alone I can just ask Alexa and move on with no baggage to drag me down.
And three: Several of the key members on the committee are Trump supporters. You should have heard the conversation here last night around our fire pit when the CDC announced changed in the Covid protocol. One woman (and two others agreed) that the announcement was proof that Trump was right all along when he said there was no pandemic and all the people who died of Covid died of something else. She thinks the hospitals and coroners across the country are getting a kick back for every Covid death they record and Covid is nothing more than the common flu that comes around every year. I couldn't work with people who parrot Fox News. My tongue would be raw from biting it all the time to keep myself from going all Incredible Hulk and spewing CCN back at them. And there it is, people, what is wrong with out country. We no longer value documented facts and ethics to the point we have two sets of 'truths' coming at us, making us more and more tribal. And dumber and dumber as a nation where half our people don't see anything wrong with an ex-president illegally keeping boxes of highly classified documents about our nuclear program in the basement of a club just feet away from where people from around the world go to play golf and cozy up to him. Puts a new light on that Chinese woman who was arrested by the FBI a year or two ago at Mar-a-Lago with a bunch of thumb drives in her possession, doesn't it.
Okay, my Incredible Hulk persona is back in the box and I have one more side note on the poem. I put it up Sunday at noon and by Tuesday morning it was gone. The management took it down along with a letter someone else wrote supporting the sentiments in my poem. They said the bulletin board in our mail room is only for notices. The board is probably six by six foot and only has three sheets of paper on it. I was planing on taking the poem down by Wednesday anyway and at first I thought it as funny they felt threaten by it. But the longer I thought about it the more annoyed I got at the idea we residents can’t have a bulletin board to post whatever on.
And that became reason number four for not getting involved in a resident council and their newsletter. The committee is going to ask the management to pay for paper, printing and to use their e-mail list, etc., and in exchange the management---in my opinion---is going to want control over what goes into that newsletter. I don’t want to be a performer in that circus but it’s going to be fun watching it from the sidelines. ©