In limbo he lies...waiting.
An "Adult with Incapacity" for a discharge into a heaven or a hell.
A bed blocker, agencies bicker over who should pay for his stay.
In the meantime a court will sit in two or three months time and make a judgement.
' Guardianship granted, the man in limbo can be discharged' announced with authority...here's a list of homes...' says one casually.
From the list provided you have to choose, lots of money of course may help to save you from a hell, but then again would wealth buy you a heaven, quality care...safety from harm...abuse...?
The mental list of concerns is endless and money is no guarantee things will go well.
Hell one on the list and chosen at random.
In a large dull room, the scene resembles a multiple car crash, sticks, frames and wheel chairs locked together, shapeless bodies are heaped like discarded puppets upon assorted seats.
In one chair, an old lady lies legs akimbo, midriff exposed, her flimsy skirt pulled up over her thighs.
Another drools salvia, the mass glistens in a slimy pool on his lap.
In a far corner some one shouts, male or female, it's difficult to distinguish from under a grubby tartan travel rug.
A harassed carer rushes by holding a soiled sheet.
Beneath a painting of the last supper a man sits moaning, his colostomy bag leaking.
Da Vinci's supper is served in two sittings to blaring rap music.
The dining room sparse, hard chairs, the walls devoid of any colour.
'...the floor is easy to clean in here if anyone is sick...' a carer said, flailing the cracked vinyl with a mop.
An events poster informs of activities to come.
Photographs of Big Joe and his silver harmonica, Hans and Greta in lederhosen promise an afternoon of yodelling, midweek they materialise into Rocky and Lee sing Country, a day trip, the destination unknown.
' ...we just tell them it's a mystery tour, they don't know any different...' someone smaned.
A change of ownership pinned over the old.
Their mission statement promises a vision for the future, a new wing to be built, fifty more beds and much more displayed in a computer generated image.
When construction will commence remains to be seen.
The present structure crumbling, decay seeps from the walls, cries for help go unheeded.
'... shared rooms at present, the toilets are at the end of the corridor...once everything is completed things should improve...' she said without conviction.
Pass through a long dim narrow passageway that would test a submariner.
One claustrophobic room holds two beds, the smell a barrier to entry.
'...we use energy saving lights...' said with pride.
A makeshift curtain acts as a door to another sad room.
In the games room, a solitary figure sleeps in a large chair, propped up with cushions and a frame lodged to prevent a fall.
He or she sits beneath a flickering TV, Usian Bolt the fastest man on earth flashes by with out a glance.
In the car park a car struggles to start, loud expletives and Big Joe, the man with the silver harmonica emerges in oily chefs whites and disappears into a hole in the wall.
Ten minutes away another home, a trimmed driveway leads up to a large Georgian villa with a spacious glass conservatory attached.
'Hello there, I'm Blanca, would you like to look around?' she oozes a disarming warmth.
'We're just having cakes and tea...please...come and join us then I'll show you around...'.
Old frail heads nod a welcome with a smile and recommended the lemon drizzle cake.
One disagrees and suggests the apple pie with clotted cream.
Others munch contentedly as staff flutter around replenishing tea cups.
Perhaps there is a heaven after all for a man who lies in limbo...waiting.