Sunday, August 21, 2011

A day with "pazazz"...

As an artist I, naturally, have a job totally unrelated to art. I work at an assisted living home for adults with autism, the lower end of the functioning scale too, and have been there for 2 years 3 months.  I see more "wang" in a day than I care to and have cleaned up way more poopy undies than I ever imagined I would, especially since I have no desire for children.  The job requires a colossal amount of patience, of which I do not possess.  So, I spend about half of each shift daydreaming and refreshing the main page of Facebook so I don't go totally crazy. Today was different though. Today I 'got' to find out how deep the creek near work actually is. How, you ask... Well let me tell you.

We have a new staff person training in right now and things tend to get a little more interesting when new staff are around because the residents like to push the boundaries and see what they can get away with. Today was one of those days. The new staff had her resident out in the front yard, which is fenced, and he was enjoying playing in a tub of water. The timer beeped and his half hour of water play was over so it was time to dump the water and head inside. All was good and well until the resident walked over to the house door and noticed the door to the garage and apparently decided to check it to see if it was locked. Unfortunately, it wasn't locked and the main garage door was open too as someone had taken the van out of the garage earlier.  So, the resident takes off! I happened to be keeping a close eye on the camera monitor and saw him sprint off. I hopped down to the landing, yelled for the other staff, who was downstairs, then took off out the front door. The resident was hauling ass through the parking lot and his brand new staff was in hot pursuit but was in no real shape to give chase for a dude hauling like this rezzy.  I see the direction he's going and cut through the trees on the facility property, saving me some time and ground. I'm running full sprint after him as he books it down the sidewalk to a creek that is about a block away from our facility. I passed a Mexican family that is waiting for the bus and give a little wave to the youngest girl who is watching me strangely as I clomp towards them, fast as I can, in Keen sandals.  She did not wave back. Meanwhile, I'm yelling, in a scolding tone, for the resident to stop. He didn't, of course.  I'm able to catch up to him and grab a hold of him where he briefly stopped in the tall weedy grassy stuff on the bank of the creek but he jerked away and the pursuit was on again.  He scrambled into the water which meant I had to as well.... Now, I'm thinking "Fuck! Why did I run so damn fast?!?!?!" So now I'm tripping around in the muck and water after him but he has already waded so far out I figure it will be faster to climb out, run around, and head him off.  I, of course, trip and fall getting even wetter before I manage to climb out, not that it mattered I'm sure I already smelled like duck shit before the fall.  I run further ahead in front of him and got in again. I wade out and then holy crap! there is apparently a "deep end" to the creek because I can't touch bottom and I'm 5'6"!  The resident is taking in water and I freaking, thinking he's drowning.  I'm exhausted from sprinting and haven't been able to catch my breath and am thinking "Fuck, somebody is going to have to jump in after me in about a minute!".  My internal monologue is full of the "F" word.  Turns out this resident can swim alright, he was actually voluntarily drinking the water (ew!) and started to swim away from me, little bastard!  I was finally able to corral him and get a solid hold of him and bring him over to the bank where another staff person pulled him up and then escorted him back with another staff.  I slogged out of the creek with mud and weedy garbage all wrapped around and in my shoes, clothing all full of grim and smelling like... crayfish.  I squished back by the Mexican family, waiting for their bus, and waved at the little girl again.

I'm thinking my next review at work is going to go really well!