It’s at times like these, when I feel I have nothing to say, when it’s probably best just to talk. After all, the reason I’ve been quiet is mostly because things just aren’t great. (I know it seems I’ve posted pretty regularly but I’ve been relying on stories from last weekend.) I prefer to post entries about how I won the lotto, got published, and had stellar sex with a team of college cheerleaders… but that just never seems to happen…
I didn’t sleep much this weekend. Between the sleepwalking and the just plain being drunk (more on that later), I only averaged a few hours each night. That’s put me in rather poor spirits this morning… can you tell? Vicky and I spent most of our Saturday evening at each other’s throats but finally settled in for a late supper and a wonderful Columbia Crest ’06 Shiraz… followed by another bottle of “I was too drunk to remember, really” – I think it was Boarding Pass Shiraz. Yeah, I got a little schnokered but I needed it.
Saturday was supposed to be about my folks. You see, my mom recently got out of the hospital. She wouldn’t tell me why – “woman’s surgery” was all she’d say – but I knew she was recuperating and could use a visit. So, the plan was to see her and call my dad. As some of you may know, my dad’s been ill for… well, a long time.
After seeing my dad last weekend – though he wasn’t really there – he’d really been on my mind. So, I was looking forward to the conversation. It would go something like this. Ken: I’d like to interview you so I can integrate your life story into a book I’m writing on Free Will. Dad: Sounds like crap. I’ll do it. Ken: You won’t regret it, even if I do.
In reality, it went something like this. Ken: Hi Dad. Dad: Hi Son. I heard the new job isn’t that great. Ken: No, sadly. Not really. Dad: I’m sorry to hear that. I hoped blrblrblrblrblrblr….
And then, he was off and Blanche was back on. Simply put, he was too weak. Just too weak to talk.
But if he was too weak to ask about interviewing, so I could write his life story… it was clear he’d be too weak to actually interview. This fact didn’t even occur to me until several hours later, after I’d spent the morning removing the foot from my chest. Hearing my dad so weak, so frail, left it impossible to avoid the reality of the situation. Especially after Blanche told me he’d had worse days. If this was one of his better days…
Listen, I know there’s nothing unique here. Part of being alive includes losing your parents. Parents die. Children die. We all die. But another part of being alive sometimes involves knowing that however horrible they’ve been, you love them. I hate to see my father suffer like this. I hate to see him go so slowly. The pain he experiences dilutes into those who love him and it just hurts to know how much he’s hurting.
Then, I visited my mom. Her “woman’s surgery” has her in some pain, but she left the hospital early, rather than take money from Vicky and I to pay for her to stay longer. Vicky’s a little burned by that and, honestly, my mom was being prideful and stubborn. The joke was kind of on her, though, when I went to visit, because her husband insisted on talking about how they cut her open “from rectum to vagina”. His constant repetition of “rectum to vagina” “rectum to vagina” probably had my mom wishing she hadn’t told him, either.
Later, when she mentioned that her DVD/VCR play had broken, Vicky and I went out and bought them a new one. It’s not the same as a day in the hospital but, as I told Vicky, if I can make things a little more comfortable for one of my parents, I’ll do it. Anyway, it was fun watching my mom and her husband try to figure out what they’d done to deserve the gift. I didn’t buy me any extra sleep, but Vicky and I got a good laugh out of it.