All we know is they’re still alive. Both of them. They’re inside.
It’s snowing like hell. God’s way of keeping those rock-dum hudggers from hudgging at bars and taverns. Hudgging (new word).
- Hudggers, Hudgging means people who huddle and hug in public. Huddle more than hug. Hug is part of the process though.
They’re @ COVID MANOR @ CAMP COVID Cleveland. Does anyone even have to say Ohio? People on the outside claim to know nothing about Cleveland. Cleveland isn’t even on their mental maps. Not famous enough. Not hot, cool, quirky, startling enough.
Too banged-up rough, too aggressive, too down and dirty, too one class action suit away from discrimination against white people. Yet, when they hear the word Cleveland, everybody recognizes it.
On the Edge between Cleveland and Lakewood stands, about to crumble, COVID MANOR @ CAMP COVID – Cleveland side. Follow the yellow brick road. Detroit and Madison Avenue not far away.
Kirby Manor of Villa Saint Rose it’s formerly called. The last mass at Saint Rose de Lima across the street was 14 March 2010. The woman and man signed the first lease first week in August 2019.
Last mass @ St. Rose of Lima, Cleveland 14 March 2010
Coincidentally, the woman’s first grade school in Chicopee, Massachusetts was named Kirby, after the vacuum people. And so was Kirby Manor of Villa Saint Rose named after the vacuum people – and also the church across the street. Originally built to house factory workers and later turned into senior residences located on the Edge of Lakewood and Cleveland, Cleveland side. That big yellow brick building now called CAMP COVID aka COVID MANOR.
Who knows, this could become a story that began and ended with Kirby – the vacuum people. Truth be told though, she didn’t like that first grade experience at Kirby School in Chicopee, Massachusetts. A female teacher accused her of cheating when she looked down to the floor to think on a question, lunged at her, grabbed the white paper, put a big fat red zero on it, held it up so everyone could see it and said, ‘this is what happens to little girls who cheat, they get a big fat zero’, then she tore the paper up. She recalls standing under the big maple tree at recess while the other kids played, looking toward the chartreuse painted double garage building where she went to kindergarten. She longed to be there now, even though her experiences weren’t much better. Being the tallest, she always got the end of the line empty box when the teacher passed out treats for holidays, teacher standing taller than her, saying Mrs. so and so didn’t bake you a cupcake Sharon, yet there she was eating one at her desk after it was all said and done. How about the one she ate before she passed them out?
Teachers were mean to little kids back then.
What was once a place of beauty turned ugly when people not respecting the property of others turned it into a dumpster heap, or so they say. Owners turn ugly toward those who don’t respect their living spaces, causing everybody to end up at the bottom of everybody who counts’ do to list when allocations are allocated for repairs and services, and take complaints with a grain of salt.
That these two are still here though, one would have to say through good and bad mostly bad, speaks to their persistence and determination to turn something bad to better.
She comes out finally – the woman – almost seventy-three years old – to grocery shop two blocks away all bundled up @10 degrees and hears from a person in the outside smoking cubicle as she stops to chat with a familiar tenant that six dead already, that they’ve heard through the vine. She names them; the woman doesn’t do names, just appearances – the less she knows about her neighbors the better for her. Still, she chatted with all of them over the twelve years she lived in the same Camp with them. Could be a lot more dead, since she only knows of those who show their faces over the years. Not many do – with any regularity.
It means something to be recognized, whether one knows the name or not. That familiarity builds mountains of strength within the Camp.
After returning from her trek into the wilderness four blocks to and from with an over-stuffed, wobbling pull cart, looking more like one of those over-loaded camels one might see on National Geographic shows or activist videos, obviously made for summers, not deep snow winters, that struggled through the frozen snow banks to cross the slippery streets, she sat still in her living room with coat still on, frozen fingers, recalling all the physical descriptions the tenant gave her, and one by one she identified each fatality in her mind recalling the last time she saw and spoke to each one as her heart sank further and further into an abyss that appeared to be waiting on her.
‘Thank you for allowing me into your space’, she whispered, though only we who monitor her could hear.
What we expected her to say next was, ‘now let’s get to work’.
The Cleveland Hustle
You Don’t Question
Settlements? Somebody Owe Me Money?