Thursday, April 07, 2005


Tuesday, I volunteered for a few hours at the convalescent home. My job was to lead the Pokeeno game. Like bingo, but with playing cards. So I was carefully and seriously instructed by Marci, the Phillipino volunteer... that I had to read the cards like this: At the top of my lungs: KING OF HEARTS..... KING OF HEARTS.. HE IS A MAN........ QUEEN OF DIAMONDS.... QUEEN OF DIAMONDS... SHE IS A WOMAN....

So I did and tried really hard not to laugh every time. It is funny and not funny at the same time. These older people have a hard time telling the cards apart. Occasionally I would break it up and say KING OF DIAMONDS... HE IS A GUY. Only one of the people thought it was funny, because the rest were just "there" enough to find the card and place the chip.

There was a woman sitting directly to my right. She had the winning streak that day. Litereally, she won 5 times in a row and there was growing suspicion that I was cheating. She couldn't talk and couldn't close her mouth. I think she had had a pretty serious stroke, so she would drool a little the whole time. I took the napkin between card readings and wiped her mouth. She couldn't express whether she was happy that I was doing this or not, so I was in a mild state of angst the entire time. I hope she didn't mind. Anyway, it is just hard for me to grasp that everyone at the table at one point was young like me and also looked at old people and couldn't ever imagine being old themselves.