Prime Of Life-P.d. Bekendam

Prime Of Life
P.d. Bekendam
Worthy Publishing, Feb 4 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9781617952272

As Ben cleans toilets, he muses about his “four years of college, four years of medical school, and another four years of training in cardiothoracic surgery” to become a janitor at Heritage Gardens, a retirement home near Temecula, California. Ben appreciates that he no longer deals with life threatening crisis almost every day. His worse stressors are nothings compared to his previous work; as he copes with an incompetent supervisor and cantankerous residents by saying yes all the time while doing the job by the numbers he obsesses over.

The Professor tells him he solved the mystery of Ben when he calls him Doc to the janitor’s chagrin. The Professor pulls an experiment in the cafeteria that exposes Ben’s secret and proves the janitor should never quit being a doctor. The staff is hurt by his secret and the patients marvel over his career change. Ben is attracted to Dr. Lex Kentucky who according to Frank should have been a supermodel instead of a podiatrist. She asks him to go out with her on a date and he does as his life’s prime numbers are changing as they did three years ago.

The Prime Of Life is a fascinating character study of a man who society would insist is foolish perhaps insane for choosing a downward mobility path even if the change of occupations leaves him contented. The support cast is solid though there are some players who come across as too obviously convenient as their roles exist to move forward the plot. Still fans will enjoy Ben’s struggles summed up metaphorically by the Professor who admonishes Doc for failing to cash in on his winning lottery tickets.

Harriet Klausner


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