Writer’s Workshop: Eat Your Heart Out, Dorian Gray…

This week’s question: If you could live the rest of your life at an age of your choosing, what age would you choose and why?

Initially, I thought this question was the same as this one, where I was asked where I would like to retart my life. My answer then was 17, and I gave my reasons then. Here, I would remain the age that I specify for eternity or something awful happens. In that case, I would say…

Before I get started, though, I want to make it clear that, if were to stay at 25, I’d want Mary to stay there as well. We have been married 43 years as of today, and at this point I can’t see where life would be worth living without her.

So, why 25?

  • I’d be done with college. If I were to say 18, then I’d just be starting, and I don’t want to go through that again. I know if I were to say 22, I’d be done with school, but…

  • I’d be on my way to establishing a career. By 25, I had gotten the notion of working in factories out of my system and was starting to see data processing (the old name for IT) as my future, at least for then.

  • 25 seemed like a good time for me physically. I hadn’t put on a lot of weight (but was heavier than I was when I worked in factories) and was in much better physical shape: stronger, more stamina, my hair was darker, and my mustache looked really good.

  • 25 is the age where you’re treated like a full adult. Even at 21, there are things that are still beyond your reach. They won’t rent a car to you until you’re 25, and while it’s pretty simple to get credit cards before then, you have problems getting auto loans or a mortgage (not that most 25-year-olds have the money for a mortgage).

  • 25 is the age where you’re at the peak of your mental capacity. I realize that every person’s different, but it’s generally accepted that men’s brains finish developing at 25. It’s all downhill from there.

Since I haven’t done my Simply 6 Minutes post yet, and because Christine is pretty lenient on prompts, I’ll use this for that post.

Writer’s Workshop: “If The Walls Could Talk”

I’m spending a ouple of hours every day lying around while my leg is emptied of all the lymph that accumulates during the day, and while I’ve never been much for podcasts, I found one that I’m really enjoying.

If The Walls Could Talk is about Edgewater Hospital, at ome time one of the best community hospitals in the country. It was founded by Dr. Maurice Mazel in 1929 and was the birthplace of a couple of (in)famous Chicagoans, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Wayne Gacy. Dr. Mazel ran the hospital until his death in 1979, after which it was run by his wife, who didn’t know much about medicine or how to run a hospital, and was sold in the late 1980’s to a man named Peter Rogan. It closed in 2001 under a cloud of insurance and Medicare/Medicaid fraud and allegations of murder. The buildings were left to rot until a few years ago, when they were torn down or repurposed.

It’s a compelling story for a number of reasons. People who had worked at the hospital were interviewed for the podcast, and you can tell the pride that they had in it and just how emotionally attached they were to it. It was ahead of its time, with a helipad on the roof and a burn unit, and they set a standard for pre- and post-natal care. It was run like a hotel: patients were treated as guests, there were bellhops who took the patients’ bags to their room, the meals were topnotch, and patients were pampered. From a personal perspective, I grew up within a mile of the hospital, and knew kids who had either been patients there or had relatives that had been.

The people who wrote and narrate the podcast are two veteran Chicago journalists, Todd Ganz and Stephani Young. Todd was curious as to what had happened to the hospital, and had started researching that when he lost his full-time job thanks to Covid-19. It’s well researched and written and so far tells a great story. The podcast has a website and a Patreon page. It’s a well-done series and the story is compelling. I recommend it highly.

Writer’s Workshop: In These Unprecedented Times…

Image by msandersmusic from Pixabay

I went out for the first time this year the other day. I think it might have been a month since I had been out. Maybe longer. I kind of lost track.

Truth is, even if we weren’t dealing with this perpetual threat of catching a virus for which there’s only a 99.9% chance of survival, I’d probably be stuck in the house, anyway. And you know something? It doesn’t bother me.

Before all this virus nonsense, if I didn’t get out a couple of times a week, I was climbing the walls. Now? I almost prefer not going anywhere. It’s cold out there, and rainy sometimes, and everyone is on edge about getting the virus, getting very sick and ending up in the hospital, or worse, the cemetery. There might be a low probability of death, but it’s not 0%, and I’m in the high risk group. So, the way I see it, I’m better off just staying in.

Nowadays, I wake up and spend an hour having the lymph pumped out of my leg, get dressed and sit at the computer in my office. Sometimes I go down to the living room for lunch and stay there, sometimes I stay in my office until dinnertime. After Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, and maybe an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, I go back upstairs and spend another hour (sometimes two) having my leg pumped, then hang around in my office until I feel like going to bed. I go to bed and am sleeping really well, and sometimes I have an interesting dream or two. And when the morning light comes shining in, I get up and do it again, amen…

Writer’s Workshop: On To ’21

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Mary and I spent New Year’s Eve as we always do, at home, having pizza rolls, going to bed more or less early. She went to bed before 11, while I stayed up about another hour until the clock read midnight, then went to bed.

Boring? Yeah, and at this stage of my life, that’s the way I like it.

I have yet to venture out of the house this year. Seriously, I think the last time I was out of the house was before Christmas. The only time I venture out the door here is when I have a medical appointment, like I will next Tuesday, when I have my teeth cleaned. I’m getting to where I don’t mind it. Stay in, stay out of trouble. That’s my motto.

Mary gets out to the store a couple of times a week, and sometimes picks up lunch and brings it home. We’re saving money because we hardly go to Starbucks anymore. And you know what? I don’t miss it.

In short, it’s been peaceful here so far. No reason to think it’ll be any less peaceful the rest of the year. Peaceful is boring, and boring is good.