The Grumpy old man that every one claimed to have known was indeed not grumpy at all.
The truth is some people just did not understand his personality or disability.
The thing with this grumpy old man I knew, is he would deliberately be grumpy,
I asked is there a problem? Her reply was, Mr. Man very out of control tonight, he threw his keys, punched a wall and he is very angry. I said, sure I will come in. I found this very hard to believe. I arrive, I see Mr. Man is not present, I tell the worker she can go.
I gently knock on his door and ask. Everything alright tonight?
He comes to the door; I can see he is very agitated-he explanation was this:
Damn woman, does she not know I fucking have schizophrenia, turning all the lights on at night, going to get zapped Leaving the microwave on so rays can come out and get me; worst of all is that right there. And he points. I see a 2 inch drip of blood on the wall by the light switch. I ask, how did that get there?
Well I was so mad I hit a wall in my room, I came to show her and she just asked me to go to my room, well I am not a child, “ cop Laura”. That is what he used to call me...
Protector of his kind, cop boss Laura. He would leave a note to me every night I was there reminding me of all my duties for his roommate. His roommate is a young man with Down syndrome who likes to watch cartoons and play with children’s toys and giggle when you wrap a towel around his back and call him “SuperMan”
I said, Mr. Man, have a seat. Let’s chat awhile, I will make some tea. He sits in his big comfy chair, I place my blanket over his knees bring him his tea and we start. I ask to look at his hand; I see a very small cut and clean it.
Mr. man, for your safety…there are 4 sprinkler systems in this home, should rays come out-the sprinklers would come on and I am sure they won’t because it is not logical, second. ,we can address leaving the microwave closed at all times, but if for some reason it is left open-you need not worry I assure you. What can I do to make you feel safe?
He simply says. You are here, and I like that. His words are pronounced very directly, like almost you can hear every syllable, and matter of factual like.
We sit in silence a few minutes. I ask how he is feeling; he says I am much better now. I show him my new phone-
Mr. Man is about 60, and has never seen such a thing. I ask if I may take a picture of him. He says ok. I shoot a picture. I used to also work with Mr. Man sometimes at his day program, and the greatest thing about him was his skater shoes, baseball cap and golfers attire, and he pulled all 3 trends off and was a very handsome man.
Then out of the blue he bursts into laughter, "I scared that worker something else, I shouldn't’t have done that". I said, well you have known her a long time and I think she was shocked with you as well Mr. Man.
Today Mr. Man died, and a part of me did too.
The fact that I was not going to see that smile. It was a keeper, and will always been with me.
GVixen gives a moment of Silence