. . . One day, the scene that greeted my eyes (and nose) was far more than what I’d bargained for in the course of “light caretaking” (and light cleaning -- never my favorite pastime or job). But before I continue, again, I presume you’ve returned to the blogsite for a continuation of this survival job section, #’s 51 - whatever. These are my dedicated blogs to my “Working Eldercare in Greenwich Village” episodes -- or adventures. Crazily enough, those “wild young things” of the flapper era in the roaring twenties were acting just as mischievously as ever, despite their growing old and demented. One might say at times they even behaved badly, on purpose -- another observation that ties the behavior of children and the aged, and makes them similar.
So, one day, I arrived at my charge’s home, this famed graphologist Nadya Olyanova’s, in the West Village and wished I hadn’t gone.
I unlocked her door to a unpleasant smell and even more unpleasant sight. She was mostly naked, spreadeagled on her bed with arms outstretched, smeared in her own feces. Muttering incoherently, shit smeared here and there around the apartment and on the walls, Nadya seemed pretty out of it.
Me, alarmed? I go into shock first, stop everything, assess the situation for a few seconds, then charge right in.
“Nadya! What’s going on? What happened?” After talking to her and covering her, neck down, with a sheet, I called my friend, Jack, who lived in the building. “Please, come down now!”
He looked at the situation and shook his head. “She does this kind of thing from time to time, spreading out her arms like she’s Christ being crucified on the cross. Some kind of persecution complex. She’ll be all right.”
Jack turned to Nadya and started scolding her: “Nadya, come off it. Lauren’s here and you need to get up and take care of yourself.” I believe he helped me clean up (I really hate fecal matter, shit, doo doo, whatever you call it -- one big reason I don’t have dogs). We got Nadya back into compos mentis (a sound mind) and corpore sano (a healthy body) little by little. . .
That was the negative side of caring for a partly demented, totally melodramatic old woman from Greenwich Village, who went from the queen of penmanship to the queen of (her own) shit -- not that there’s anything wrong with that!