In August 2020 I got off the road of full-time RV travel and found shelter in a senior citizen apartment complex. I am grateful such things exist because it is the only place where I could afford to live alone in one of the highest-cost housing markets in the country. I did this to be safe and near family during the Covid pandemic. 2020 was too uncertain to roam around the country as a solo traveler. Not knowing what was going to happen with campgrounds state-to-state was wearing on my mental health. Little did I know what was coming.
I’m new to being a senior citizen, having turned 65 in 2020. I’ve been traveling for several years having retired a couple of years early to take on writing as a new venture. Living with other seniors, where I am one of the youngest by far, is disconcerting. It’s a preview of a reality-based TV program I do not want to watch. Aging is filled with bodies that don’t do what we want them to do, vulnerabilities to things that ravage the said body, and a certain cantankerousness that comes with not wanting to accept what is happening to ourselves. It’s a potent combination that leads to depression and isolation. Put a pandemic on top and you can see where this is going.
I’m In Geriatric Hell
The ambulances come and go and people die here. This is not a medical living center — just an apartment complex for seniors. But the future is on display every day. There’s a woman who stands at night outside the door of her son’s apartment and wails. Her words are unintelligible, but her emotion is clear. Apparently, the other neighbors know her routine. As the newbie, I was the only one to go out into the hallway to see what was going on. I’ve had similar experiences with nighttime fire alarms. About a third of the building tenants go outside. The rest assume it is a non-event. One time a toaster burnt toast and the smoke, unbeknownst to the tenant, set off the alarm. It’s an ungodly sound that emanates from a ceiling speaker. It has to be loud because people sleep without their hearing aids or have taken a sleeping pill. I can't stay in the range of the noise.
They Tell Me Spring Is Coming
I’m half-way done with my lease and half-way done with my covid vaccination process. My RV goes in for some spring maintenance in…