How To Have An Intergenerational Love Affair With Everyone
I live in a seniors government subsidized rent controlled building. There are 4 organizations I’ve found in my city (Calgary) that manage these, mine has 20 buildings, this one has 100 suites. After I moved in to get away from my post-stroke-long-hospital-stay psycho-roommate I found out they battle bedbugs.
Some other residents are the hard bargains and right awkward buggers. The long term ‘elite’ live on the upper floors and are infested with narcissists, deeply stupid, griping, illiberal, avid, tenacious, pinch fist, lick penny, sordid shrews that criticize everything. Charming bullies.
Some residents gather for coffee in the community room every morning and watch for the mail. They live in the 1950’s according to the leasing agent /manager who posts notices instead of emails, which everyone including the 95 year old has, but some residents after years of alcohol abuse are deathly afraid of emails from authority so we have to watch the bulletin board instead.
So it’s a microcosm of the lower class of white English society. I read well researched historical novels by Patrick O’Brian about the same issues in England in the 1800’s.
Recently I was criticized for walking out of a door which no one else uses; I mean they went to management about it. I was also criticized for washing my car. The narcissists clone me, sometimes called mirroring, with my style of dress and now they too wash their cars. I jokingly said I maintain my vehicle to make the other cars look bad, which spread on the granny grapevine like wildfire and the next day the cars were washed. Narcissists never get the joke. It requires empathy. I was once fired at a cab company, where I was the head dispatcher, for saying the men surrounded my Dolly Parton clone co-worker like flies to bad meat and she couldn’t get any work done. Turned out she was fucking the GM.
I was 40 and thought that if I was going to art school now was the time. A good decision.
Mostly I ignore the awkward granny grabbers due to the criticisms from them when I moved in, mildly disabled after a stroke and an easy target. They get their narcissist supply of attention and external worth somewhere else after I proclaimed that I don’t like to be criticized.
One ‘popular guy’, Doug the slug I call him in my mind, was verbally persistent, I told him he was cut off. Doug the slug is a ‘popular guy’ narcissist liar who was an electrician he says, but I have never met a tradesman living in subsidized housing, they tend to cash out to Victoria, B.C. with the rest of the rich guys.
I ignore him and his friends ‘that do good things for others’, like drive some folks to the grocery to look good. One woman was so harassed by their ostracism that they use to deflect attention away from their own character defects that she said that she was going to move to Victoria where I used to live. I told her the hate and narcissism was worse there but it’s mostly the same wherever you go in British Canada. Focus on the nice folks and make nicer friends.
There are a couple of guys here in bad shape; they have health care workers come in to bathe them and folks to prepare their food, clean their homes and laundry. One is a former accountant addicted to the stock market, three ex-wives, the only other professional I have met here.
I learned long ago to enjoy my own company while battling crippling anxiety and depression. To fight the residual social anxiety of the newly disabled I sometimes join the group for coffee. One woman is so old she knew the doctor that delivered me in the one horse town where I was born. I like her a lot.
This society is what I was born into, the sordid squalor of poverty, abuse and incest run rampant. When I achieved my first degree my bother refused to come to convocation saying I was putting on airs. I didn’t even tell my family about my next degree or other career accomplishments. They had disowned me for joining the middle class by attending university. Sibling jealousy on steroids.
So this is where I live alone and make art and write books, I feel like Doc in Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. A lover of the sciences, nature, art, music and the shortcomings of humanity, Doc is both the empathizer and the sage on Cannery Row.
It will do.