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Does anyone have a favourite ever literary character? Just the other day I got to act like one of mine, the veritable Atticus Finch. What a character. I have an extensive legal background, and I know guys whose decision to become lawyers was formed after reading 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. Anyway, when I'm not writing, I work as a carer, mainly for the elderly. Bit different from law, but certainly rewarding. This is until I make it big as a best-selling author, heh-heh! There's a lady I assist who's had a stroke, and gets about with a walking frame. She's in her early seventies, but the stroke makes her appear (to me) older. It's affected her mood, and she also has a nasty ulcerated sore on her leg. Being a bit on the hefty side also does not help her mobility. Anyway, last week I went to her house and did some domestic stuff for her. I had to go, and told her I'd be back later to assist with bringing in and folding her towels. All good. Anyway, I got back there that afternoon, and she answered the door, her eyes red-rimmed and feral. Leathery black wings burst from her back. 'I'm disappointed,' she said querulously. 'Uh, why?' said I. She pointed to the floor of the foyer of her house, and snapped, 'Look!' I found myself eyeing off a lone blade of grass. No, I'm not kidding. I felt like snapping back, 'Oh damn, now the world's going to end! Where's Hugh Jackman, so I can do him? That's at the top of my bucket list!' Then she told me I had left droplets on her shower screen. WTF? I went to the ensuite, and yeah, there were droplets - because she'd HAD A FUCKING SHOWER!! AArrrgghhh! Clearly the pain in her leg had addled her mind, and she had forgotten she had had a shower. I wondered whether to point this out, or just not poke the bear. So I brought in her linen from the clothesline, and was readying myself to go, and she started on at me again, because I had forgotten to take out her rubbish earlier. As far as I am aware, this is not an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment, but she was quite cranky with me to say the least. 'I can't believe a woman would walk around and not take out the garbage!' she squawked at me. I was wondering whether to tell her to defile herself, or just crack up laughing.
And then she was on at me about my washing up from earlier, said I hadn't done a good job. I pointed out that I had washed up as a favour, and I dont HAVE to do it. She snapped, 'Your six year old son would have done a better job!' Well, that was it. I snatched up her precious bloody garbage that I had forgotten to put out, and said, 'Mrs XXXX, I have to go and pick up my children. If you want to abuse me you can do it next time I'm here, no actually, you can't!' With that I stormed out, and shoved her bloody rubbish in the bin, slamming the lid.
I drove home, shaking my head, and met my children from the school bus. Now, you're wondering where Atticus Finch comes into all this, stay with me. Because I had been abused, I rang the office and spoke to my supervisor about it (carers have to report abuse). My ten year old overheard me. He came up to me and said, 'Mum, you should tell that old lady you're helping her and she should be grateful. She sounds really nasty.' So, I sat him down and said, 'Darling, this is a sick old lady, and because she's sick, she sometimes doesn't know what she's doing. The sickness makes her act strangely sometimes, and Mummy just happened to be the one who copped it today.' I felt like Atticus Finch explaining to his children how they are to cope with Mrs Dubois.
Anyway, I'm told the old girl apparently feels terrible about the way she acted, and she's in hospital. That's a good thing, maybe some antibiotics and painkillers will help her. Believe it or not, I not only care for her, I care ABOUT her. Maybe it's a sign of maturity. Normally I would be plotting some peurile revenge, but not now.