Apr. 5th, 2016

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I took a bunch of days off of work ostensibly to go to the Film Festival for the week.  I've often talked about doing this.  Naturally I didn't go the movies at all.  Maybe I'm put off by movies because there's that terrible one about Batman - but probably - probably I have other stuff happening.

My Mother turned 70 on the 31st - we went to dinner and it was sweet, I talked to her a lot but we got distracted equally by my little niece and my poor father.  We talked a lot about my Aunt who has been in the hospital for 3 weeks.  I was walking with Agatha and talking to her and I had to say that I don't have a lot of dead people.  In my life I don't.  Not people I knew well or cared a lot about - I think I have one - One person I really loved who has died.  I can't even face it if something like this happens.  If my aunt dies...  She's had lymphoma for almost 20 years now-  her prognosis was grim all those years back they said six months - and it's been almost 20 years.  When we lived together she never seemed fragile - she seemed not quite robust, but, like she wanted to be useful, and would do anything not to be.  You had to wake up really early if you didn't want her to shovel the walk, for example - because she'd do it.  The only times she ever asked for anything were for rides from the grocery or the hospital, and only then if it were late & dark or if the weather went south.  You could't do things for in the times between her doing things for you.  I always felt guilty living with her and I nursed that guilt by buying flowers a lot.  I can't take it if she dies.  I won't know what to do.

She had a bad flu - it turns out, and is expected to recover completely, I need that, I need her to make it 20 more years.  She's only a bit above 70 herself.

My mother is robust as heck, she needs to be, especially in her feelings.  I go to see her, I often do, and my father is telling me that she's ruined his life.  "That woman ruined everything!"  He tells me, because he can't drive anymore, the doctors said so, after he got a speeding ticket.  Now me, I grew up in that guy's car and he never should have driven at all, he's a terror to ride with, and dementia's not helping anything.  He tried whining to me about not driving and I just straight up scolded him and laughed at him.  "Oh do you need to drive around?  Oh is it hard to live without driving?"  Here's what I know, cruel taunts are the way of life for that man and I don't think there's another response between us that would make any sense to either of us.  He knows I feel bad for him and I know he hates that, so it's probably best just to fuck with him.  Or not.  I don't know.  He has this idea that he'll get better, that he doesn't have dementia, but had a stroke that he's recovering from.  He's not well.  He's probably dying.  I can't have death in my life but I'm going to.

So how do you face that?  I mean, I turn away and look at something else.  Chinese magistrates right?  You see the old pictures they have those silly mortarboard hats with the dangling beads?  So those are functional, actually.  The idea is that if you're confronted with something ugly - you look at the beads, lower your head and see some pretty beads.  I guess like looking at your phone?

I took some time off work and didn't go to the movies, I spent a lot of time typing on this box, a lot of time - in a gratifying way - where time got away from me and I'd turned 150 pages into 300 - I worked on books, and other books - I got a lot done.  It's frankly disheartening - this feeling - of having your Dreams and Works and knowing that they're thwarted by day-to-day cares.  That the 50 hours I'm needed each week to reset passwords delete spurious entries is a sink in which my best efforts are squandered - that's the feeling, dig.  That there's a great - or at least adequate thing in me, and I've not the time or ability to make it happen because I've got to survive.  That's a frustration and one that grows larger in the shadow of death.  I tell you that there's a celebration of the ephemeral, that there's a vision of life in which life is meant to be brief & intense, and i want none of it.  I want forever, and I want forever to be subsidized.


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