Which means it’s time for another intervention. Sigh. I suppose I should be grateful. I roll my wheelchair over and we introduce ourselves.
Soon I’m answering the usual questions about RestHaven Retirement Center. I choose my words carefully.
- New owners and there’ve been operational changes since the brochure and magazine ads were printed.
- Now we’re often required to eat meals in our rooms.
- Our televisions show programs that management has selected.
- We’re issued laptops but Internet access is available only in the library. And there’s a waitlist.
- Smartphones are prohibited. And basic phones can be confiscated for inspection at any time.
- Visitors must be pre-approved.
- Everyone is issued a uniform, to be worn when military leaders and government officials are on the grounds.
I can tell she’s about to ask the question I hate the most — how long do most people…
“Hello ladies.” Just in time, RestHaven employee Michael approaches our bench. At least I think it’s Michael. With their angular chins, blond hair and stark blue eyes, these young male attendants often look alike.
“Mrs. Castenada, it’s time for your orientation class, and then your microchip will be implanted,” he tells my companion.
“And Mrs. Johnson, thank you for again helping our latest newcomer feel welcome.”
I nod. Yes, I’m still grateful. Grateful that years ago I voted for the right president. It’s been life-sustaining.