One man, Victor, was originally from Switzerland and told me that he had been a criminal attorney. He told me that in his youth, he had been a competitive ski jumper and one day, he brought a couple of medals to show me. I liked Victor best of all of the regulars. He was about 70 years old. One day, Victor told me that there was a ‘family luncheon’ and asked me if I would like to come as his guest, as he didn’t have any family in the country. I accepted his invitation and put on a simple cotton dress and cardigan sweater, and went for the first time ever to knock on the door of the rest home.
He gave me a tour of the common areas; the dining room (where we had lunch shortly) the TV room, the back porch that looked out on a very pretty garden. I was surprised at all of the linoleum on the floors and the high gloss paint on the walls. It looked so institutional. I was starting to realize what kind of place this was. Somehow I had imagined it as kind of like an apartment building or like the university residence I had gone to visit that year. Then he took me upstairs, after asking me if I was comfortable seeing his ‘room’. I said yes, and up we went. Upstairs there were four doors. Two were marked as restrooms LADIES and GENTLEMEN and the other two doors opened onto very large rooms, each taking up nearly half of the entire floor.