It Went Well
August 10, 2017
Swallow Haikus
August 10, 2017

Voices: Mary and Me

That's Mary

When I first met Mary, as a potential candidate for a caregiver position, Jo said, "That's Mary."

Jo is Mary's daughter. But Mary didn't say anything because she couldn't. I guess. She sat in a chair a couple of feet away from me while I interviewed for a position to take care of her with Jo. And so I thought: Mary is old. She is sitting in a chair. She is a white woman. Her arms are locked in a particular position because of a previous stroke. And so I thought: That's Mary.

All I could really think about was what I saw. When I did think though, here is what I thought:

What did Mary used to be like, when she was active, when she wasn't sleeping?

What is their relationship all about? Does Jo like her mom? Does Mary like Jo? Would Mary have liked me?

I had a lot of questions, but they mostly concerned things that I could not see, and that would never be able to be answered. Here is what I wondered: What is going on in Mary's body that is responsible for how she physically presents? Is it like one neuron that's working and the other one that's not?

What's happening in her throat that she can't talk? How does Mary feel?! What is she thinking?! What is she seeing?! What's going on in there?!

I guess I was fascinated the most by what I thought to be Mary's perspective. I knew how I was looking at her, but what did she see when I spoke to her and stood in front of her?

She was sleeping for most of the interview. And when I left, I thought about when I had first responded to the caregiver advertisement on Craigslist. Jo had responded and she had said, "We would like to meet you."

Kindra Ferriabough

2013 January 28

Wikipedia Craigslist

In 2003, Michael Ferris Gibson filmed the documentary 24 Hours on Craigslist.

In November 2007, Ryan J. Davis directed Jeffery Self's solo show My Life on the Craigslist at Off-Broadway's New World Stages. The show focuses on a young man's sexual experiences on Craigslist and was so successful that it returned to New York by popular demand.

Nerdcore hip-hop musician Schäffer the Darklord recorded a song called "Craig's List" for his 2007 album, Mark of the Beast.

"Weird Al" Yankovic released a song titled "Craigslist" in 2009, which is a parody of the website, done in the style of The Doors.

In 2011, a movie named The Craigslist Killer premiered on Lifetime featuring the story of Philip Markoff, who was accused of robbing and/or murdering several sex workers he met through Craigslist's adult services section.

The premise of the sitcom New Girl centers around a girl who looks on Craigslist to find new roommates. She misunderstands one of the listings and ends up moving in with three men, when she had intended to find female roommates.

The American comedy series Bored to Death revolves around a fictional Jonathan Ames who posts an ad on Craigslist advertising himself as an unlicensed private detective.

The documentary Craigslist Joe, documents a 29-year-old man living for 31 days solely from donations of food, shelter, and transportation throughout the U.S. found via Craigslist.

In 2013, a writer answered an et cetera ad, and came to meet Mary and me.

Craigslist > jobs > et cetera jobs

Housing and Stipend for Caregiving 2013-1-9 16:59

Funky, safe place to live and stipend for daytime caregiving. Sharing the job with daughter-home owner.

Mary needs a mature, physically strong, patient, kind female for physical transfers out of bed a few times per day, bed bath, grooming, spoon feeding of precooked reheated meals, diaper changing and general kindness (extra daughter). I need an interesting professional roommate who works at home or is in career transition (extra sister). This is not a traditional "live in caregiver"

Compensation includes a furnished room on the 4th floor of a brownstone, storage space, laundry, wireless internet, and utilities and a fixed stipend paid every 2 weeks. You buy your own food and toiletries.

Caregiving duties include preparing oatmeal and juice, reheating lunch sometimes dinner or light cooking of pasta or potatoes, incontinence care, bed bath, dressing, grooming, administering prepoured medication and generally being in ear shot. Household duties include Mary's laundry, cleaning kitchen and vacuuming Mary's room and hallways weekly. She does not speak normally but communicates to those in the know. She weighs at best 100lbs.

Heavy duties are morning and meals and incontinence care. Total hands on work hours are 4 hours per day, but you are homebound from 6 am to 5pm week days and some hours on the weekend. Mary sleeps until 9 or 10 am and otherwise sleeps all day when not eating. She needs to be checked in on for water, heat, diaper issues and companionship. I will be home at 5 pm you will be off duty until the next morning.

The home, a vegetarian, nonsmoking, green-focused, peaceful, nurturing brownstone, has some areas under renovation on the ground floor and is shared with 5 independent cats. The house is currently a big mess on the lower two floors. There is one functioning bathroom shared with me and a Columbia graduate student.

This is not a traditional live-in caregiver job because I provide night care, but does involve some hours on the weekend. You will have one full day off presently, probably a weekday. There are no night time responsibilities except in rare instances when I may need to travel. I am looking for someone to provide care when I am not home who has a flexible work-at-home professional life. If you think downtime as a caregiver is watching TV or talking on the phone, do not answer this ad. There is no TV in this house. The house is not safe for children. I am looking for an ambitious person with personal goals who can study or work from home. I am looking for a writer, Etsy jewelry artist, online worker, or someone studying for the GRE or recuperating from a divorce. I am looking for someone who wants to live in upper Manhattan and who has a life because caregiving is high burnout job. I am expecting a commitment from the person hired, after all you are being adopted. If you click reply and attach your resume then you have not read this ad. If you have a home, you don't need this job.