Thursday, August 24, 2023


My landlady's husband came home from the hospital today and has been installed with his hospital bed in the front downstairs apartment. A wheelchair got delivered. But he will walk again, and my apartment mate has suggested that we both help him trot up and down the hill to get him fully mobile, which will be good, she says, because she needs the exercise.
Unspoken (by her): so does the awd codger she lives with.

Yeah, um, okay. I can see where that would be good.

And it will be excellent for all of us.

My landlady's husband, like me, is a grumpy white dude somewhat on the negative side of middle age, where hills grow steeper and damned kids play on the lawn. Both of us live with stubborn Cantonese women. Which, I suppose, is perfect. Grumpy white men need someone stubborn, downright pig obstinate, to kick us in the rump now and then. That last is meant metaphorically, please understand, a polite translation of the Dutch term "een schop onder de kont" which means a firm push in the right direction, forced return to reality & realism, a clout upside the head to get us to stop spouting drivel, a wake-up call, etcetera.

My apartment mate is nearly a decade younger than me.

Een schop onder the kont.

Ja ja. 'Tismewat.

That hill IS a bit steep. Years ago it was a matter of no consequence to stroll over it on the way to Chinatown and back. Yesterday during the heat wave that would have sent me to the hospital... which would have been five or six blocks closer by the time I would have collapsed, and if I did so at the right place I could have just rolled downhill right to the emergency room at SFCH instead of having the ambulance schlep me across town to General, which is the standard operational protocol, where crazies and druggies and the bleeding wounded from domestic strife or Tenderloin entertainment end up. Sentient calm people die there. People prescribed calmative pills wander off into the airwells and die of dehydration. And collapsed bartenders have unclean tubes shoved up their urethra and end up taking fifteen pills a day to survive, then die during the height of the pandemic because they had heart failure in their bedrooms one block away from where I live. No one in their right mind wants to go to General. Folks who are in their wrong mind end up there.
It's a friggin' war zone.

It's been two years since Don died. I wonder if anyone has sued General for being a damned bunch of bloody incompetent wankers since then. It would be a solid case.

Yep, that's a hell of a hill.

I have trepidation.

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