I realized it was a stupid and terrible thing to do. Kids like cotton candy, but the elderly do not. I watched as the small bone pile gummed at the cone of inflated sugar and laughed to myself. However, a part of me realized that this was mean and that I was purely feeding this thing for my own amusement.
We moved down the boardwalk and I began seeing how far I could push the wheelchair. Edward seemed to like this as he laughed and babbled on to himself about the war or peaches. I suppose when you reach a certain age you aren't only used to being the butt of nature's jokes, but you enjoy it.
We stopped at a burger stand and I got a cheeseburger and a coke and bought the old man some French fries he could no better pick up than eat. I left them steaming on his lap as he savored the aroma and we moved on.
A woman approached me and asked if the rheumatoidal bag of excrement in the wheel chair was my father. I replied "No, it's not mine. I'm just walking it." She gave me an odd look and I assured her that I was a professional caregiver and that by using the pronoun "it" I was distancing myself from any emotional attachment that could wear heavily on me when the old It died. She seemed to understand and I gave her my number telling her "This isn't the only 'it' that I do." She looked puzzled and It and I moved on.
There is a commitment you must make to yourself when you decide you're going to pretend to give a shit about something. That commitment involves making sure that you don't give too much of a shit, because in the end you could wind up with shit to think about. No one wants that in their lives. That's why it's important to keep a bag in your heart at all times, to pick up the shit and collect it. Otherwise, too much shit could cause you to give a shit. And you really don't want to give a shit. You want to keep your shit. What's the first thing you think of when you think of a man who thinks he knows it all? You think he's full of shit. And he does, and he is.
No one wants to lose their shit.
So, with that in mind, we hit the bar. I realized that wheeling an elderly man into a bar is something I've never seen another human do. The looks I got were priceless. I wheeled him in front of a jukebox and gave him some quarters and then drank for a while.
Believe it or not, someone had stolen my old man. Or, the old man had gained his wits and realized I'd be back for whatever was left in his wallet. Either way, I was really drunk.
I asked around "What happened to my old man?" but no one had an answer.
Finally, I realized I had left him at the first bar I had gone too.
So, I made my way down the street and eventually found him being coaxed to take shots with a group of frat kids. I had to commend them, they realized that you truly should not give a shit about anyone.
I helped them get the old man drunk, and when he shit himself, I decided to call it a night. There was simply too much shit in my life.
I expected that his children would be worried about him, but then I realized he lived alone and would probably die alone with no one giving one shit about how much he had shit himself that evening.
I realized then that the elderly continue to make the same mistake: they give a shit.
But I wasn't about to clean his shit, so it was a simple nudge into the apartment and the hope that he'd be able to figure out how to lock up before retiring for the evening.I never saw the old man again, and I decided to do my community service in some other fashion. The elderly just kinda spook me. Too much shit.