He never looked at me. Not when I bathed him or called his name. When I accepted the job, I thought the old man had gone deaf for the entire first month. Then one day I dropped his dinner plate and the porcelain shattered against the kitchen tile that’s when I knew his hearing was perfect. I cringed as moans erupted from the next room. It was his wife’s china. Since that day, I have tried starting a conversation, but all the same, he wouldn’t even look at me. Knowing now that he wasn’t deaf, only solidified my distaste for the job.
I had a college degree in chemistry, and I was doing the work of a high school dropout to make ends meet. Student loans had to be paid especially when you have already utilized your forbearance period. So I changed diapers, cleaned toilets, and mopped floors because anything was better than flipping burgers even the diaper changes. One day, I would be pulling in thirty dollars an hour, but today just wasn’t that day. I’ll give it a year is what I told myself. Six months into it and only a thousand saved, so I told myself two years. Two years with two jobs: one as an entry level chemist at a local chemical plant and the other as a caregiver for a disgruntled paraplegic. The worst of it, I was the sixth caregiver he’d had in the last two years. Rumor had it. The other five left without so much as a phone call. At first, I didn’t understand. The duties were simple and few. However after six months of being totally ignored, quitting seemed heavenly.
The benefits of working alone are the lack of supervision. I created my days, rules, and schedule. In fact, the only rule of the house was to avoid the basement. My supervisor told me it was the only preference of the client. He did not mention his wife’s china, but he was certain to address the basement. For the first couple of days ,my curiosity drove me to twist the knob, but I decided curiosity wasn't worth losing a second income so,eventually I removed the thought from my mind. His basement . His business.