The Exchange

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Alice

“Ugh!” I groaned as I lowered myself to the floor of Resident who is in no way mentally incapacitated’s room.

      “What’s up?” she asked without raising her eyes from her new tablet. Since discovering a game called “Sweet Tooth”, I’m lucky to get even a mumbled greeting from her. On one hand, I think the game is good for maintaining control of her hand muscle. On the other, she is in full blown addiction mode, calling out every fifteen minutes to get the game back on.

      “I’m stuck on a topic for this week’s post.”

    “With all the crap you have floating around in your head, that’s surprising,” she replied without missing a beat OR looking up from her game. Resident who is in no way mentally incapacitated also has excellent comedic timing.

      I smiled, raised an eyebrow and told her that I could always take my break elsewhere if I was interrupting her mission for world dominance via a video game.

      After uttering what had to be the world’s most dramatic sigh, she put the game on her bed and drove over to me.

       “Ok, ok! Why don’t you go around and ask everyone what they think happens after we die?” she offered after some thought.

      “Interesting, but I don’t like you guys thinking about death. Too morbid. And I’m not about to start a holy war.”

        “You could write about how every man Ms.___ marries ends up dead,” she said nonchalantly.

      “Ok, first, never ever say that to her. It’s very hurtful. Second, isn’t she your best friend?!” I exclaimed.

     “Yeah, but the truth is the truth.”…Resident who is in no way mentally incapacitated lacks a filter. The truth is the truth is a way of life for her.

       After dismissing several more outlandish and completely inappropriate ideas, including a post about her that she suggested I title “The Seventy Year Old Virgin,” I knew what I was going to write about.

         I told her that I was going to write about this exchange; this simple talk during a short break in the day. It was a moment to temporarily set roles aside. It wasn’t a caregiver having a conversation with a resident. It was two friends exchanging ideas. Two equals, on the same playing field. Such rare opportunities are a rich oasis.

        “Good plan. I like it when you write about me. I’m very interesting people,” she said as she adjusted her chair to rest her feet on the bed.

        “I agree.” I got to my feet, restarted her game and was headed back out to the hall when she called out my name.

     “Hey! I would stay away from using ‘rich oasis’ as a description. It’s a little heavy handed.”…sigh. Everyone’s a critic.

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